A BOOK BY a contestant for the Man Asia Literary Prize has been snapped up by Simon and Schuster for publication in the West, I heard today. Sanjay Bahadur, a 40-ish civil servant in India, has sold the rights to The Sound of Water to Atria, a division of Simon and Schuster. He appeared in the long list of contestants for the prize earlier this year.
This is a good example of how projects started by our little literary community can give a little “leg up” to talented Asian authors, and help them get to be where they deserve to be: on the world stage. Well done, Sanjay. He presently lives in glorious Goa, and carries the title Additional Commissioner of Income Tax.
ASIA-BASED publishing house P3 has sent staff to Frankfurt, to the world’s biggest book fair, which runs this week. The event has typically been dominated by Western publishing houses, so it’s good to see a Hong Kong based publisher taking an active role. Well done, all concerned.
CHINESE RIGHTS have been purchased for God is Not Great, an anti-religion book by the iconoclastic journalist Christopher Hitchens, I heard today. The buyer was Locus publishing of Taiwan. With a title like that (it’s a spin on the Muslim mantra, which is Allahu Akhbar, which means "God is Great"), Hitchens is living up to his reputation for trying to annoy as many people as possible. You may recall that this is the man who wrote a character assassination of Mother Teresa.
DIDN’T MAKE it to Ubud this year for the literary festival in Bali? Check out these two brilliant blogs for first-class summaries of what went on: Sharon Bakar and Deepika Shetty.