Éditions NOIR SUR BLANC were born in Montricher, Switzerland, in 1986, the brainchild of Vera and Jan Michalski, a couple with combined Swiss, Polish, Russian and Austrian roots. The idea was to publish writers - essentially of Slavic origin - who could influence European culture, or even culture in general, and to offer fiction (novels, short stories, plays and poetry), as well as essays, documents, eyewitness accounts, personal journals and memoirs bearing witness to critical periods in the history of countries like Poland, Russia and Rumania. The goal was to build a bridge between the French-speaking world and those talent-filled countries by choosing books from a wide variety of fields.
The small provincial press has gone on to open a Paris office in 1990, to take over the Polish Bookshop in Paris on Boulevard Saint-Germain (established in 1833), and to open a Polish-language branch in Warsaw that publishes literature from around the world. While remaining faithful to Eastern Europe, Noir sur Blanc's French catalogue's center of gravity has gradually shifted away from that region in order to open up to travel writing, often by Anglo-Saxon authors.