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The A&M Books Story...

Once upon a time, writer Anyda Marchant and her partner Muriel Crawford started a publishing company. It was 1973 and they called the business Naiad Press. They, along with business partners  Barbara Grier and Donna McBride turned Naiad Press into the largest, most successful feminist publishing company in the world.

The very first books published by Naiad included The Latecomer , Tottie. and 10 more novels under Anyda Marchant's pen name of Sarah Aldridge. Readers heralded the books as among the first that had happy endings for lesbian lovers - nobody had to be thrown under the bus at the end!

Of course, the press had trouble getting printers and distributors to touch their "scandalous" publications, but in the end they triumphed and sold thousands upon thousands of novels to hungry readers.

Some of the famous authors published by Naiad Press included Katherine Forest, Jane Rule, and many more. Marchant was president of Naiad from its inception until 1995.  

In 1995, after years of successful publishing ventures, Anyda and Muriel withdrew from Naiad to start another publishing house, A&M Books of Rehoboth Beach.  They published four more Sarah Aldridge novels, a novel by feminist icon Ann Allen Shockley and a collection of comic essays by Rehoboth Beach columnist Fay Jacobs.

The founders pass the torch 
to publisher Fay Jacobs in 2005.
  

 
     Before lesbian literary icon Anyda Marchant died in January 2006, two weeks before her 95th birthday, she paved the way for her publishing company, A&M Books, to live on as a voice for lesbian and feminist writers.  
 
       Marchant made provisions for A&M managing editor Fay Jacobs to assume ownership of the publishing house, with Crawford as Publisher Emeritus.  Jacobs had worked closely with Marchant on the last three A&M publications. Sadly, Crawford passed away only four months after her partner of 57 years.  
      “I met Anyda when she was 84 years young. For a decade she was my friend, mentor, publisher and the most demanding boss I’ve ever had. I hope I can continue to steer A&M in the direction Anyda envisioned.”  Jacobs says.

     
Since 2006, A&M has continued to publish and  carry on the Naiad/A&M Books legacy.

A&M Books presents: 

For Frying Out Loud - Rehoboth Beach Diaries (2010) by Fay Jacobs

The Carousel - a novel 
(2010) by Stefani Deoul

The 35th Anniversary Edition of 
The Latecomer
(2009) by Sarah Aldridge

Fried & True - Tales from Rehoboth Beach (2007)  by Fay Jacobs

Celebrating Hotchclaw 
(2005) a novel by Ann Allen Shockley


As I Lay Frying
- a Rehoboth Beach Memoir (2004)   by Fay Jacobs  

All 14 of the classoc Sarah Aldridge novels are also still available through A&M Books, including the first Aldridge novel The Latecomer, in a new 35th anniversary edition.

You can purchase 
the Aldridge novels  by sending $12 each  plus $2 each handling  to: A&M Books P.O. Box 283, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Click here for ORDER FORM

Anyda Marchant (Sarah Aldridge)   1911-2006
Anyda Marchant, 94, a retired attorney, novelist and publisher died Jan. 11, 2006 at her home in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Marchant, who wrote 14 novels under the pen name Sarah Aldridge was a founder of the legendary feminist publishing imprint Naiad Press in 1972 and A&M Books in 1995
Ms. Marchant was born in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil , moving with her family to Washington , DC at age 6.  In 1933 she earned her law degree from the National University of Washington, DC (now George Washington University ), and was admitted to practice in Virginia , DC, and before the U.S. Court of Claims and U. S. Supreme Court. As a law student, she served for a year as assistant to women’s rights pioneer Alice Paul, who was then doing the first research for an equal rights amendment.

In 1940, she was appointed assistant in the Law Library of Congress.  When the man who was head of the section was drafted, Marchant was appointed in his place.  When he returned in 1945, she relinquished the post, but declined, on principle, a lesser position offered. 

In her law career she
became one of the first women attorneys at the law firm now known as Covington & Burling, then moved to the World Bank,   where she worked for 18 years until her 1972 retirement. and Burling. 

That same year, Marchant and her life partner Muriel Crawford founded the Naiad Press as a vehicle for publishing Marchant's first novel, The Latecomer, written under the pen name Sarah Aldridge. From there, Naiad became an avenue for the publication of other feminist and lesbian literature.  In 1974 Naiad Press was formally incorporated in Delaware . Marchant served as Naiad president from its inception until the mid-1990’s.  Naiad published eleven Sarah Aldridge novels and grew to be a powerhouse in feminist publishing. In 1995 Marchant and Crawford withdrew from Naiad, and began their own publishing company, A&M Books in Rehoboth Beach . A&M published the last three Sarah Aldridge novels along with the book As I Lay Frying, a Rehoboth Beach Memoir by author Fay Jacobs. Passionate about supporting feminist writers, Marchant continued her publishing and mentoring activities until very recently, highlighted by A&M’s October  release of the novel  Celebrating Hotchclaw by feminist literary icon Ann Allen Shockley.

Marchant and Crawford’s Rehoboth home has been the site of decades of  Saturday evening salons, where cocktails, conversation and an amazingly diverse crowd would gather – neighbors, clergy, writers, musicians – young and old, gay and straight – on the large front porch . In the winter, the cocktails and conversation would relocate to the couple’s home in Pompano Beach , FL.

Of her many activities, Marchant recalls proudly organizing the very first National Organization of Women meeting in Delaware when she started a Rehoboth chapter.

Marchant was followed in death only four months later by Crawford, her partner of 57 years,.
A&M Books will continue under the leadership of  Managing Editor Fay Jacobs. All of the Sarah Aldridge books are still in print and are available (for independent bookstores) through Bella Distributors or individual buyers by contacting AandMPublishers@aol.com.

Muriel Inez Crawford  1914 2006

  Longtime Rehoboth Beach resident, Muriel Inez Crawford, 92, passed away June 7 at her South Rehoboth home, surrounded by her loving circle of friends.

Born on April 21, 1914 in Washington , DC , Crawford served as an executive secretary at the Washington law firm of Covington and Burling, followed by a position as executive secretary to the president of the Southern Railroad, now Amtrak.

Crawford, along with her partner of 57 years, Anyda Marchant, who pre-deceased Crawford this past January, began coming to Rehoboth Beach on weekends in the early 1960’s. They first owned a weekend home in Rehoboth and then, upon retirement in 1972, moved to a downtown beach home. The house became the site of legendary Saturday evening salons, where cocktails, conversation and an amazingly diverse crowd would gather – neighbors, clergy, writers, musicians – young and old, gay and straight filled the large front porch . In the winter,  cocktails and conversation relocated to the couple’s home in Pompano Beach , FL.

In 1972, the couple founded Naiad Press , an independent feminist publishing house, and then founded A&M Books of Rehoboth Beach in 1995. At the time of her death, Crawford was Publisher Emeritus with A&M Books. Crawford is survived by a niece and nephew and a family of dear friends.

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