One of the finalists in the Man Asian Literary prize, she tells David Greenlees just how difficult it was to break into being published in the internationally, but how, as soon as she was shortlisted, three publishers, one from New York, one from London and one from Australia called her agent.
Xu Xi's reaction:
This is nice; isn't it about time?Greenlees believes it is a sentiment many Asian authors would share but believes that:
... there are signs the Asian literary industry is starting to come of age, increasing the opportunities for many more Asian writers to gain international recognition.Which has to be good news for authors here too.
International publishers and literary agents say they are seeking many more works in Asia to bring to English-language audiences. They are also looking for new voices and genres that go beyond what publishers call "scar" or "misery" literature - about life in poverty under repressive regimes - and capture the rapid social and economic transformation of the new Asia.
At the same time, they say Asia is building the infrastructure for a developed literary industry. They say it can be seen in the growth of international publishers opening regional offices to scout for talent and sell books in fast-growing English- and local-language markets; the emergence and greater importance of Asian literary festivals; and the numbers of Asian works being translated into Western languages.
The winner of the prize is announced tomorrow, but I hope all those short and longlisted turn out to be winners because the prize has got them noticed.
The IHT article is very sadly Nury-less. I feel for you, mate.
The Complete Saloon is still a little sceptical about the whole M'A'LP as it calls it.
*Xu Xi is, incidentally, a Silverfish "lapper" so there's another reason to cheer her on!