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Which Country is Most Hostile to Literary Life?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Numerous regimes oppress writers through economic deprivation, censorship, or criminalizing literary activities.

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

In today’s feature story, “Myanmar’s Literati Shake Off Past, Look to Future,” several writers discuss reveling in their new found literary freedom after years of struggling under an oppressive regime.

Around the world, regimes come and go, some more oppressive to writers than others. This can take the form of economic deprivation, censorship, or criminalizing literary activities.

Which developed country, in your opinion, is most hostile to literary life, and why?

My candidate, North Korea, thought at the same time you might be surprised by some of the creativity of the regime in crafting stories. (For a glimpse, take a look at our earlier story, “Frogs in a Well: Literary Life in North Korea”).

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

Edward Nawotka is the Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. A former foreign correspondent, he has covered the book business exclusively since 2000, serving as daily news editor for Publishers Weekly and columnist for Bloomberg News.