History

Richard-and-LindyNorth Atlantic Books is a nonprofit publisher committed to an eclectic exploration of the relationships between mind, body, spirit, and nature. Founded in 1974 by Richard Grossinger and Lindy Hough, NAB aims to nurture a holistic view of the arts, sciences, humanities, and healing. Over the decades, it has been at the forefront of publishing a diverse range of books in alternative medicine, ecology, and spirituality. NAB is the publishing program of the Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization that promotes cross-cultural perspectives linking scientific, social, and artistic fields. With more than one thousand books in print, NAB has operated from Berkeley, California, since 1977.

NAB got its start as the literary journal Io, which Grossinger and Hough founded in 1965. The publishing program grew organically from the magazine, ranging widely to encompass new voices and modalities, making significant inroads in some areas (internal martial arts, sports literature, and homeopathy) and filling holes left by mainstream commercial publishing in others (anthropology, occult novels, regional history, and outsider science). In the process, it gained a reputation for encouraging innovative considerations of new—and often very old—systems and traditions, and their cultural resonances.

 

Since its inception, NAB has expanded its pioneering publishing program in areas such as somatics, trauma, raw foods, craniosacral therapy, shamanism, and entheogens. The landmark publication of Paul Pitchford’s Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition was the first comprehensive guide to the theory and healing power of Chinese medicine. T’ai Chi Ch’uan: A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health and Self Defense by Cheng Man-ch’ing earned a place as the foundational text for Short Form, the most popular and widespread form of t’ai chi in the West. NAB deepened its focus on martial and healing arts with Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body: Qigong for Lifelong Health, Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong (Volumes 1 and 2), and Taoist Sexual Meditation: Connecting Love, Energy and Spirit by Bruce Frantzis. Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form: History, Philosophy, and Practice by Bira Almeida introduced the practice to a new generation of readers. NAB is also one of the foremost publishers of yoga books, including Ganga White’s Yoga Beyond Belief: Insights to Awaken and Deepen Your Practice and Mark Stephens’s bestselling Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques, Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes, and Yoga Adjustments: Philosophy, Principles, and Techniques.

Joining NAB’s distinguished list of groundbreaking books in herbalism, plant medicine, and homeopathy, Jeanne Rose’s The Aromatherapy Book: Applications and Inhalations is known as the bible of aromatherapy. Beginning in 1999 with Secrets of the Talking Jaguar and continuing through 2015 with The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise, NAB has published a number of influential books by Martín Prechtel. Like many of NAB’s cutting-edge books by practitioners of holistic medicine, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Maté offers an innovative approach to health and healing. As part of its eclectic stance in bringing fresh voices to the forefront, NAB was the first to publish one of the finest and most original of today’s underground comics artists, Phoebe Gloeckner. Copies of A Child’s Life and Other Stories were denied entry into the U.S. when it appeared in 2000. In 2015, her graphic novel Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures, first published by NAB in 2003, was released as a major motion picture.

NAB has launched a number of distinguished imprints. Blue Snake Books, inaugurated in 2005, is one of the largest publishers of internal and historical martial arts books in the world. Evolver Editions, launched in 2011, presents leading voices of the transformational movement, with publications such as José Argüelles’s Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness and Charles Eisenstein’s Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition. The Sacred Activism Series, launched in 2013 in collaboration with Andrew Harvey, encompasses books such as Empty Hands, A Memoir: One Woman’s Journey to Save Children Orphaned by AIDS in South Africa by Sister Abegail Ntleko and Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation by Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox.

Publishers Group West (PGW) began distributing NAB titles in 1982 and during this association NAB grew rapidly, increasing the number of staff and of titles published. In 2007 Random House, now Penguin Random House (PRH), took over distribution, and NAB authors gained access to PRH’s powerful fulfillment and sales services. North Atlantic’s own acquisitions, editorial, production, and marketing staff handle all books from the Berkeley office, where excellent author-publisher relationships are the highest priority.