Do Contemporary Asian Writers Suffer a Lack of Prestige in the West?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Asia globe

By Edward Nawotka

Recently, a publisher told me at the Guadalajara Book Fair that Spanish-language writers suffer a lack of prestige when compared with German, French and English-speaking writers. It was, said the publisher, a consequence of history. Does the same hold true for Asian writers? For example, when you look at the number of writers from the East who have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, you see how small that number is when compared to writers from Europe. Certainly this is only one, arguably relevant, determination. But if the case is that Asian writers are indeed — as our lead editorial asserts — increasingly important to a global audience, what needs to change for them to get the attention they deserve?  Is it merely a matter of time — and translation — or are there deeper historical and cultural factors at play?

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.