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 …

Frankfurt Preview: Director Juergen Boos Discusses Economy, Rights, China

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka “If you’re talking about an economic crisis, then you have to talk about an economic crisis hitting American and UK publishers alone,” said Frankfurt Book Fair director Juergen Boos on the eve of the opening of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. “Latin America has already come back from its economic crisis, which it experienced ten years ago, …

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 …

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. …

Arabic Publishing News: Iraq to Officially Censor Books

In Arabic Publishing, News by Chip Rossetti

By Chip Rossetti The Iraqi Ministry of Culture has just taken the unexpected step of launching a program of official censorship of books imported from abroad. The new rule also applies to books published within Iraq, as publishers are required to obtain authorization before printing. Needless to say, this has provoked a hostile reaction from Iraqi publishers and booksellers, calling …

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 …