Bruce Hume’s take on China lit’s globalisation drive

DecodedChina’s culture apparatchiks are getting serious about bringing Chinese-literature-in-translation to the masses near you. Here are 3 trends detailed in an article (作家 “走出去” 新谋略) reprinted from China Publishing and Media Daily:

More works from (familiar, *sigh*) high-profile authors

Sources in China’s export-oriented publishing sector say they feel more confident focusing on authors who have received prestigious domestic awards. 

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DecodedMai Jia (the pen name of Jiang Benhu) is one of China’s most popular authors, but he is still practically unknown in the west; this, his bestselling 2002 debut Decoded, is the first of his novels to be translated into English. It’s tempting to think of him as China’s answer to John le Carré. Having worked professionally alongside spies and codebreakers in his country’s secret services, Mai now channels those experiences into fiction that combines literary sophistication with commercial appeal. And like le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyDecoded has also been adapted for television and film. (FT)

Asian literature is rising fast on the international publishing scene. Anticipating this burgeoning demand, Kelly Falconer – former literary editor of the Asia Literary Review – founded the Asia Literary Agency earlier this year. Heading up the nascent group, which represents luminaries in the field throughout Asia, Falconer is constantly keeping tabs on the continent’s hottest writers.

According to her, the five Asian writers to watch are: British-Indian Bidisha, Ichi Batacan who is a Filipino writer in Singapore, Kim Young-ha of Korea, Mai Jia of China and Prajwal Parajuly of Sikkim.