Does Literature Still Have the Power to Irritate Powers-that-be?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In today’s lead story Daniel Kalder writes about Russia’s Ad Marginem Press, a “underground” publisher of controversial and politically provocative works of fiction and nonfiction. Ad Marginem publisher Alexander Ivanov says the press may have something of an advantage in attracting an audience, in so far as “literature [in Russia] may still -– as it did in …

Notes from the Underground: Indie Publishing in Putin’s Russia

In Growth Markets by Daniel Kalder

By Daniel Kalder MOSCOW: Back in 1993 a group of philosophers from the Russian Academy of Sciences formed Ad Marginem Press in Moscow. Their plan was simple: to publish translations of late 20th century Western philosophy that had been unavailable in the USSR, alongside works of contemporary Russian fiction. After 70 years of totalitarianism Russians were hungry for new ideas …

Agent Profile: Yasmina Jraissati of RAYA Agency

In Feature Articles by Chip Rossetti

By Chip Rossetti For Lebanese literary agent Yasmina Jraissati, the 2004 Frankfurt Book Fair kick-started her entry into the world of literary agenting: “I went to Frankfurt that year since that was the year the Arab world was the guest of honor. At that point, I was already thinking about starting an agency.” Soon afterwards, building on the contacts she …

Saving Face

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

Editorial by Edward Nawotka Ever since the controversy surrounding the appearance of Chinese dissidents Bei Ling (貝嶺) and Dai Qing (戴晴) at the symposium “China and the World – Perceptions and Realities” last month, the media has pilloried the Frankfurt Book Fair, suggesting that the organization is compromising its values and support of free speech. What is disheartening to observe …

German Buch News: Praise for Google Settlement Delay; Frankfurt as a Refuge

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary The Börsenverein (German Publishers and Booksellers Association) and VG Wort held a press conference yesterday in Frankfurt to discuss the implications of the postponement of a Google Settlement “fairness hearing” originally scheduled for October. The Boersenblatt reports that Alexander Skipis, chief executive of the Boersenverein, was delighted about the rejection of the Settlement in its current state …

Bonus Material: Stats, Video and Images from the BIBF

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka The keynote speech of the Beijing International Publishing Forum (discussed in our lead article) was delivered by Wu Shulin, vice-minister for the General Administration for Press and Publications (GAPP). He cited numerous figures — as documented by Emma House, the UK Publishing Association’s International Director — which give a picture of the current state of Chinese publishing. …

Will 360 Million Chinese Boycott the Internet?

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka BEIJING: Today is the day China turned off the internet. Or at least that is the hope of artist Ai Weiwei. Weiwei called on China’s 360 million internet users to “stop working, reading, chatting, blogging, gaming and mailing” to protest the Chinese government’s demand that computers users have to have installed its controversial Green Dam Youth Escort …

Bonus Material: The 2009 Declaration of the Anonymous Netizens

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Ai Weiwei’s call for protest coincides with circulation of the 2009 Declaration of the Anonymous Netizens, a protest document that criticizes the Chinese government for having “deprived your netizens of the freedom of speech.” The anonymous group then claims “we are going to launch our attack worldwide on your censorship system starting on July 1st, 2009.” The …