The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin: The Damn Good Times of a Fiercely Independent Publisher

The story of Heyday and its founder

In an age of big box stores and media conglomerates, how can an independent publishing house survive—and even thrive? Kim Bancroft takes us into Heyday, a small press that for forty years has spotlighted California’s best stories. Drawing from the words of founder Malcolm Margolin, this compelling portrait recounts the making of Heyday, from its roots in the do-it-yourself/change-the-world clime of 1970s Berkeley to its present-day status as the “cultural linchpin for the state” (Northern California Book Booksellers Association). A chorus of friends, including Maxine Hong Kingston, Robert Hass, and Kevin Starr, enriches our understanding of a vibrant literary community and its one-of-a-kind leader. Funny and provocative, The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin reveals the workings of a courageously unconventional enterprise run on beauty, passion, friendship, and joy.

Winner of the California Book Award, Gold Medal for Contribution to Publishing

Winner of the Northern California Book Reviewers Recognition Award


“A fun, feisty history…appropriately idiosyncratic.”—San Francisco Examiner


“An engaging book. Bancroft beautifully weaves together a diversity of voices to tell the rich story of Margolin, his independent publishing house, and the community he continues to nurture.”—Western American Literature


“[An] adventurous, insightful, and delightful saga of storytelling.”—Midwest Book Review


“Malcolm Margolin should be bronzed (if it wouldn’t hurt). He and Heyday are treasures beyond computation, bringing to light authors and issues that too many overlook or ignore. On top of that, he’s a wise and kindly man and in this degenerate age his perspective should have the widest possible audience. Read this book. You won’t be disappointed.”—Peter Coyote, actor/writer


“Kim Bancroft here elegantly wrestles into flowing prose the joyous intellect, the contagious spirit, and the rapturous soul of Malcolm Margolin. Sharing the poignant path of this passionate publisher and community builder, Bancroft gives us all the gifts that are Malcolm and all that he has shared about this place we call California.”—Anthea M. Hartig, executive director, California Historical Society


“Reading Malcolm’s story here—and reading others’ stories about Malcolm—put me in the presence of the wonderful, brilliant, and kindhearted man that I’ve known and cherished. What a treasure!”—Greg Sarris, tribal chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, author of Grand Avenue


“If you don’t yet know Malcolm, prepare yourself to meet the uncle you wish you had, the glue that holds the sweetest parts of California together, and some very hilarious picaresque adventures amid this still-golden state.”—Rebecca Solnit, author of The Faraway Nearby


“Malcolm Margolin has spent a lifetime bringing the California legend to life. He has brought our unrivaled diversity of native languages, cultures, species, and habitats into our hands and imaginations. There’s no greater tribute to the man than what he’s inspired us to save.”—Mike Sweeney, executive director, The Nature Conservancy

About the Author

Kim BancroftKim Bancroft is a longtime teacher turned editor and writer. She earned a B.A. in English from Stanford, an M.A. in English and a teaching credential from San Francisco State University, and a doctorate in education from UC Berkeley. She has taught at various high schools and community colleges in the Bay Area, at the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico, and at Sacramento State. Kim has edited several books, including Ariel: A Memoir by Ariel Parkinson; The Morning the Sun Went Down by Darryl Wilson; and Ruth’s Journey: A Survivor’s Memoir, by Ruth Glasberg Gold. She lives in Willits, California, in a redwood forest and enjoys the nouveau-Thoreau challenges and opportunities of life in a small cabin with a satellite dish on top. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Hubert Howe Bancroft. Read her blog, "Urban Woman's Guide Back to the Land," here: