June Frankfurt Book Fair Newsletter: Argentina, China, Iran

In German Buch News by Edward Nawotka

By Mark Garcia-Prats The June issue of the Frankfurt Book Fair newsletter was sent out today and includes a variety of articles that will interest our cosmopolitan readers, including: Guest of Honor Argentina: literary memories of the military dictatorship The “Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo” were clearly the focus of attention at the international symposium “The Culture of Memory” …

Why French E-books Don’t Deserve Lower VAT

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In the latest issue of ESPRIT magazine, Pascal Fouche, bibliographer and editor of the three-volume Dictionnaire encyclopedique du livre, discusses the changing definition of the book in the age of digitization, largely in favor of the argument that a lower rate of V.A.T. — 5.5.% in France — not be extended to e-books: “A book is an …

New Writing from Nairobi: Storymoja’s “Story of the Week”

In Ed's Perspective by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Storymoja, the Nairobi-based publishing collective that we profiled last year, is running a weekly short story contest. Publishers looking for new African voices might do well by paying attention to some of the winners. Stories that qualify for the contest need to adhere to certain criteria: Contemporary Nairobi setting Has two or more young professionals as main characters …

Starbucks Wi-Fi and the Future of Paid Content

In Hannah's Perspective by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson Starbucks announced yesterday that it would provide free wireless Internet access in its stores across the United States starting on July 1. In addition, Starbucks will roll out “a new online customer experience called the Starbucks Digital Network” which gives customers free access to “exclusive content and previews, free downloads, local community news and activities” through its …

Wen Huang’s “Coffin Keeper” in the Paris Review

In Ed's Perspective by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Our good friend and frequent contributor Wenguang Huang has published excerpt of his forthcoming memoir in the new issue of The Paris Review, alongside interviews with novelist David Mitchell, cartoonist R. Crumb, and fiction from Katherine Dunn, Colum McCann, and Ann Beattie. The piece, entitled “Coffin Keeper,” begins: “When I was nine, I shared my bedroom with …

Berlin’s Dussmann Doubles Sales of English-language Books

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary Maybe it’s all the expats moving to Berlin, but the city’s giant book and media store Dussmann is doubling the retail space it allots for foreign language books, with a particular focus on English-language titles. The reason? Store manager Julia Clarenein tells Buchreport that the store has recently seen a double-digit growth in sales in this segment. …

German Book Sales Stall, Drop 5.5% So Far in 2010

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary Much as the weather was unseasonably cold in Germany in May, book sales experienced a bit of a chill in comparison to last year. Due in part to the fact that there was one fewer shopping day this year and that the May 1st holiday fell on a Saturday — meaning stores were closed on a typically …

The Town that Pop Culture Forgot

In Book Review by Edward Nawotka

Welcome to Utopia by Karen Valby (Spiegel & Grau, $25) Reviewed by Edward Nawotka In 2006, Entertainment Weekly writer Karen Valby uprooted herself from New York City to settle in the Hill Country town of Utopia, a place with a half-mile long Main Street featuring “zero stoplights, one constable, six real estate offices, and seven churches” and where just 540 …