HarperCollins recently announced its purchase of the Chinese novel Zu Jie by author Xiao Bai for $60,000, for publication in English for the Western market. The noir thriller will be published in 2015 under the English name French Concession. The purchase is part of a trend, signaling increased interest in Chinese literature among Western publications and readers.
China’s book market is now the world’s largest, publishing 7.7 billion books in 2011, a 7.5 percent increase from 2010. Of those books, 48 sold more than one million copies. Most of those titles were written by Chinese authors for Chinese readers, but Western books translated into Chinese also feature prominently.