Book market tries to turn a new page

Updated: 2012-02-17 08:37

By Zhang Yuchen (China Daily)

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Publishers, in an attempt to cater to the overseas market, have released myriad books on culture. However, according to book fair director Boos, literature accounts for just 20 percent of sales on the international market.

"The only modern books I like are autobiographies nowadays," said businessman Mike Bearden. "It's interesting to read about the people who are driving this country."

The desire for alternative works was one of the reasons Li Jingze decided to start Pathlight, a magazine containing contributions from contemporary writers that was launched in December. Foreigner translators translate every word from Chinese to English.

"Although the rest of world gets to peek behind the mystery that is China, people's knowledge about the country still remains the same as it was years ago," he said. "Only three to five Chinese writers today are familiar in the Western literary circles and that's definitely not enough."

Pathlight is owned by Chinese Writers' Publishing Group, which also publishes the 60-year-old People's Literature, and is aimed at those who are hungry to digest China's literature scene, "like a light that shines on a path".

Li, the editor-in-chief, said the magazine will be among the Chinese delegation heading to the forthcoming London Book Fair, where it will promote 18 modern Chinese writers.

Thanks to a healthy number of translators and contributors, Li said he can concentrate on the task of coming up with a different theme for every edition.