French Classics à la Nintendo (With a Little Help from Gallimard)

In Europe by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije PARIS: On March 5th, Nintendo France will release its 100 Classic Book Collection in a deal with publisher Gallimard, becoming the third country after Japan in 2007 and the UK in 2008 to make literary classics available to read on its DS portable games consoles. Gallimard’s 25,000 title-strong backlist catalog includes a great majority of France’s best …

What Book Would You Give North Koreans to Read?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story describes literary life in North Korea, where the authoritarian government restricts access to most books to very few elite in Pyongyang. While there are some Western books available, these are few and far between. “At the end of the day,” says Demick, “[North Korean] literature is totally subservient to propaganda, which is there to …

Frogs in a Well: Literary Life in North Korea

In Growth Markets by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka North Korea is without a doubt among the most mysterious of countries, which begs the question: What kind of literary life is there in North Korea? The answer — according to two new books about the country, Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick (Spiegel & Grau) and The Cleanest Race by B.R. Myers (Melville House) — is nothing …

Review: Don DeLillo’s Point Omega

In Book Review by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Starting with 2002’s Cosmopolis about the 2000 Internet-stock-bubble burst, Don DeLillo has used his considerable skills as a fiction writer to dwell on current events. His previous novel, 2007’s Falling Man, concerned 9/11, and his latest, Point Omega, looks at the recent war in Iraq. Richard Elster, a 73-year-old academic who served as a war strategist, has …

Should All Nobel Prize Winners Be Translated?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka If the Nobel Prize is the most prestigious literary prize in the world, one that virtually guarantees a degree of literary celebrity throughout the author’s lifetime, doesn’t it go without saying that all the authors works should be translated, at the very least, into English? As discussed here before, English is for many editors and publishers, the …

The “Lost” Books of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

In Growth Markets by Daniel Kalder

By Daniel Kalder When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died at aged 89 in August 2008, his reputation had been in flux for a long time. Even so, while most obituaries acknowledged the power and significance of The Gulag Archipelago and his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, he was nevertheless dogged to the grave by accusations of anti-Semitism, reactionary …

Which Chinese Books Do You Want Translated?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead article discusses the launch of the Peony Literary Agency in Hong Kong and Beijing. The firm already represents a number of bestselling Chinese writers that have yet to attract a Western publisher, most notably, Han Han (he was deemed the sixth richest writer in China), but has yet to be translated. Another is the novel …

Lessons from the Rick Moody Twitter Project

In Digital by Guest Contributor

By Andy Hunter, Editor-in-Chief, Electric Literature Earlier this month, twenty co-publishers joined Electric Literature in using Twitter to publish Rick Moody’s “Some Contemporary Characters,” a short story written for the medium in 153 bursts of 140 characters or less. Our goal was to create a conversation, agitate for literature, and expand the readership for Moody’s story. It was an inclusive …

Is Twitter a Viable Format for Storytelling?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka First there was fast fiction…then there was nano fiction…now there is twitter fiction. At 120 words a burst, Twitter would seem unsuited to narrative fiction. But as our lead editorial today by Andy Hunter, editor-in-chief of Electric Literature demonstrates, Twitter can be used as a format for fiction, provided one is a dedicated follower of the tweets …

The Internet is Africa’s “Gutenberg Moment”

In Growth Markets by Guest Contributor

By Tolu Ogunlesi “There are lively publishing enterprises in different areas of Africa that are not formalized in the European sense. But they exist, they are not cataloged, [they] don’t have ISBN numbers… there’s no systemic way of tracking and engaging these enterprises…” said Muhtar Bakare, founder of Kachifo Limited, an independent literary publishing house in Lagos, Nigeria, during a …