About the Author

Olivia Snaije

Olivia Snaije is a journalist and editor based in Paris who writes about the Middle East, multiculturalism, translation, literature, and graphic novels. She is a contributor to newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar Art, The Global Post, The New York Times and CNN.

Right-wing Complaints About Muslim Batman Bemuse French

In What's the Buzz by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije The British Batman writer, David Hine, has invented a French superhero before the French could get to it. His name is Bilal Asselah aka “Nightrunner” and he was selected by Batman in the December issues of DC Comics Detective Comics Annual and Batman Annual to fight crime in Paris. Nightrunner is from the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, …

Paris Opens Chic New Hotel for Book Lovers

In What's the Buzz by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije How lucky that in this digital age some people still find books seductive — seductive enough to build a chic new hotel in Paris with a literary theme. The plush Le Pavillon des Lettres opened late last fall right around the corner from the Elysée Palace in the 8th arrondissement. The 26 rooms in muted tones correspond …

With 150,000 Daily Print Subscribers, France’s Children’s Newspapers Remain Popular Despite “Digital Distractions”

In Children's, Europe by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije At least French kids are reading newspapers. There is always a business model that works against the odds. France’s book publisher Play Bac presse, which also publishes three newspapers for children, is simultaneously celebrating its 25th anniversary, and its founding paper, Mon Quotidien’s (My Daily) 15th birthday. At a time when newspapers worldwide are struggling, and in …

Chair of Judges for the Arabic Booker Discusses the Shortlist

In Arabic Publishing by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije The shortlist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) — better known as the Arabic Booker — was released last week; the winner — who receives $50,000 (shortlisted authors receive $10,000 — will be announced March 14, 2011 during the Abu Dhabi Book Fair. The six writers on the shortlist are from Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and …

Nicolas Gary: France’s Digital Man of Letters

In Europe by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije In a corner of the traditional, safe and slightly musty world of French publishing, Nicolas Gary, the principal founder of Actualitté, a website and daily newsmagazine on French and international publishing, is a blast of fresh air. The Canadian-born 30-year old, a fan of Frank Herbert’s Dune but also of poet Saint-John Perse, founded Actualitté with three …

Edouard Cointreau on the Booming International Cookbook Market

In Global Trade Talk by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije Edouard Cointreau’s Gourmand World Cookbook Awards have been a fixture on the Frankfurt Book Fair scene since 1995, when the Awards were launched to draw attention to those who “cook with words.” Fifteen years later Gourmand is the network par excellence for “foodie” professionals. Boosted by the fact that cookbook publishing is one of the only sectors …

French Senate Votes for Fixed E-book Prices

In Global Trade Talk by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije France has been looking for ways to protect smaller booksellers and publishers from giants such as Amazon, Apple and Google, and last night the French Senate unanimously voted approval for the proposition of a law that would fix prices for e-books. Until now, e-books were not included under the famous 1981 Lang law that prohibits the sale …

Lebanon’s Francophone Book Fair Honors Camus, Features Local, Int’l Talents

In Arabic Publishing by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije Opening on the heels of the Francophone summit in Montreux, Switzerland – Lebanon’s 17th Francophone book fair kicks off this Thursday in Beirut and runs until November 7th. Articles about the former French protectorate regularly lament the loss of French speakers to English but the Beirut event has nevertheless gained the status of being the third Francophone …

France’s Fnac Introduces FnacBook, E-Reader War Heats Up

In What's the Buzz by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije On Thursday, Christophe Cuvilier, Chairman and CEO of Fnac, France and Europe’s largest cultural and electronic retail chain, introduced the company’s new ereader called FnacBook. Eager to stress that books and ebooks can develop harmoniously side by side (books represent almost 20% of Fnac sales), Cuvilier presented the slim — 1 cm thick — elegant ereader, which …