"The world is hungry for books about the Asian experience,” says Toby Eady, but he stresses that authors need to tell stories set in the modern world. ... "Please, do not write another book about the second world war or Khartoum ... We don’t need to dwell in the past. Readers are ready for more. They are open to reading about the real Asia, the Asia that is in the present."Daphne Lee interviews the literary agent with a particular interest in Asian writers, and Daniel Watts managing director of Pan Macmillan Asia which is employing Eady (right) to scout the new talent. Says Watts:
“We are looking for Asian voices – writers of contemporary novels. Toby is on board to help us source for Asian works of quality and we hope to build Picador Asia as a brand that is associated with Asian writing of a high literary standard.”And adds:
The imprint will acquire and translate established works from China and other East Asian countries, but also hopes to discover new authors, Asian or otherwise, who can offer fresh insights and perspectives on Asian life.Not so long ago the only choice was self-publish or find a small press locally and risk having no exposure for your fiction overseas, or compete in the overcrowded British or American market. Now it seems that a third path is opening up.
One of the writer's Eady has signed up is Fan Wu (left), author of February Flowers. Daphne interviews the author about her book. Eady and Watts were in Singapore for the launch of the novel.
Channel News Asia's Deepika Shetty blogs an account of the launch and of Wu's first TV interview. She's thrilled (as we all should be) at the news of PanMacmillan setting up Picador Asia. And in the interest of research, she also has dinner with Eady who tells her:
"I would love to see a book based in Malaysia - a love story."Do I hear the sound of frantic scribbling?
(BTW You might also be interested in reading this earlier CNN interview with Eady.)