Avant-garde publisher Giancarlo DiTrapano dead at 47

April 2, 2021 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — Giancarlo DiTrapano, an avant-garde magazine and book publisher who as the founder of New York Tyrant worked with Atticus Lish, Sam Lipsyte and Padgett Powell among others and proudly defied mainstream trends, has died. He was 47.

A spokesperson for DiTrapano’s family, Lauren Cerand, told The Associated Press that he died Tuesday in New York City. She did not immediately have further details. DiTrapano had a small, but devoted following, and was praised for his willingness to take on writers that the larger publishers shunned.

“He was who you should have wanted to impress, a real person in a world where there are vanishingly few,” the novelist and critic Lauren Oyler tweeted Friday. ”He was exactly what a publisher should be and was going to do so much more.”


A native of Charleston, West Virginia, and graduate of Loyola University New Orleans, he founded New York Tyrant Magazine in 2006 and three years later began Tyrant Books, which he ran out of his kitchen in Hell’s Kitchen. Releases from what became New York Tyrant ranged from a book of photographs of Iggy Pop to Scott McClanahan’s raw “The Sarah Book” and Marie Calloway’s “what purpose did i serve in your life,” a work so explicit that a printing company refused to produce copies of it.

“Tyrant stuff isn’t for everyone, but nothing should be for everyone,” DiTrapano once said.

In 2015, the publisher received broader attention with Lish’s “Preparation for the Next Life,” which won the PEN/Faulkner prize for fiction.

DiTrapano was also a writer who was published in The Paris Review and Playboy among other magazines and co-founded a highly regarded writing workshop that he ran out of his family home in Italy. He is survived by his husband, Giuseppe Avallone; his mother, Martha, and three siblings.