On March 11, Heathen Harvest featured an interview with Adam Parfrey, the founder of Feral House, in which they discussed the press’s beginnings, its mission, and its continued challenging of the taboo.
Prior to founding Feral House, Parfrey was no stranger to the publishing world. Fresh out of college, he helped found three different magazines, covering everything from graphic arts to “outsider” books. Parfrey followed his interest in fringe books to create his own publishing house, dedicated to shattering notions of what is or isn’t appropriate for literature to discuss. The publisher only produces books that it deems “feral”—wild, dangerous, challenging—enough, but it’s not enough to write shocking material. The books have to be well-written.
“That’s the biggest problem with these issues,” Parfrey says. “People think, ‘oh, I’m going out on a limb because it’s about Satanism’ or ‘it’s about murder’ or this and that, but then these books are not so great. . . . The subjects have to be approached in an intriguing way.”
Still curious to what Feral House is really all about? Look no further than their 2015-2016 season.
Late October 2015 brought about the timely release of Disco’s Out… Murder’s In by Heath Mattioli and David Spacone. This book is an uncensored account of the violent lives of the La Mirada Punks, also known as “L.A.’s Deadliest Punk Rock Gang,” and their notorious leader, Frank the Shank. Death Confetti, which releases June 14, is a collage of Jennifer Robin’s unapologetic musings on her life in Portland, from its ’90’s grunge emergence to its current hipster-haven reputation. Robin is neither delicate nor meek in her exposure of Portland from the inside out in this raw and riveting portrayal.
That’s the Feral House approach in a nutshell: delve without flinching into the gritty.