International fairs spread the word on Chinese literature

Companies and authors use international book fairs across the world to generate greater interest in classic and contemporary literature: The Telegraph

This month, when audiences enter New York’s Javits Centre, the main venue for BookExpo America 2015, it would be hard to missthe large billboards advertising new works by Chinese authors.

As guest of honour, China has organised 130 events, from book launches to a symposium to discuss Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, the Chinese president’s fourth book. A delegation of about 300 Chinese writers and publishers will also descend on the expo, which runs from May 27 to 31.

The activity, part of the publishing industry’s “going global” strategy, stands in sharp contrast to even just a decade ago, when the translated works of contemporary Chinese authors were much harder to come by.

For years, when it came to Chinese titles, overseas readers had access to only ancient classics and books on traditional culture, while the most familiar authors were still Chairman Mao Zedong and Confucius.

“While most major publishing companies in the United States have had business ties with Chinese partners going back years, or even decades, China has only recently entered the global stage,” the expo said in a media release. “Now it is a world player.”

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