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 Guest Contributors & Editorial 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 Tolu Ogunlesi

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 …

Is Africa Hot or Not?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Every couple of years a new African writer appears to take the publishing world by storm. Two recent examples include the literary-minded Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose Half of a Yellow Sun won both the Orange Prize for Fiction in the United Kingdom and a $500,000 MacArthur genius grant in the United States. And on the commercial side, …

After Six Years, Germany’s KiWi Cashes In on Infinite Jest

In Europe by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco COLOGNE: It was “not self-evident” that David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest would enter the German literary world, says Helge Malchow, publisher at Cologne-based Kiepenheuer & Witsch (KiWi). Buchmarkt named Malchow Publisher of the Year in 2005, the same year a Welt Online article called him “the Bismarck of German publishing, its lord and savior.” About 50% of …

Bonus Material: A Short History of Turkmen Literature

In Discussion by Daniel Kalder

By Daniel Kalder Turkmen literature began in the 18th century, thanks to Makhtumkuli (1733- 1813) who composed mournful, painful poems about injustice, the decline of morals and the general harshness of life. Then came poets such as Mollanepes and Kemine whose works remain popular among Turkmen today. Makhtumkuli’s own poetry remained totally unknown in the West until the mid-1990s, when …

The Literary Life of the French Foreign Legion

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Guest Contributor

By Robert Girardi I was drawn to the French Foreign Legion—the subject of my new novel, Gorgeous East—for a variety of reasons. Chief among them has to do with a foolish weakness for old things: old books full of dust, old cars barely running, old chairs that you can barely sit in, old apartment buildings (hopefully without roaches) and most …