Friday, October 23, 2009

Asian Fiction for Italy

I'm very excited to hear of the launch of Italian publishing company, Metropoli d'Asia.

I met founder, Andrea Berrini, when he was in Kuala Lumpur a few months ago, scouting for fiction from the region to publish in Italy. (Some of you might have met him at Readings@Seksan where he came to check out the local talent.)

Here's the information about the new company :
... founded by Andrea Berrini, writer and essayist, in partnership with the Italian publisher Giunti Editore. The objective is to discover, translate and offer contemporary innovative writing by Asian authors to a wide public. Europe is starting to measure up to the new economic and political giants of this continent (China and India in particular, but there are others as well) and consequently with the new cultural scenes, the new schools and languages of contemporary Asia. This leads to the need to look more closely at the metropolises, cities which have undergone tremendous change in the past two decades and will change even more. Metropoli d’Asia intends to concentrate on authors living in many countries who experience their reality at first hand and on novels with urban settings; authors linked to a place, with which they have a physical and material contiguity, because they tread their streets and know their neighbourhoods and have a direct relationship with their inhabitants. The first titles, according to the editorial plan, will be published in 2009, from 14th October.
So far no Malaysian markets have been earmarked. We seem to do well on short stories, but very poorly on marketable contemporary novels. Maybe with the encouragement of a new overseas market for local writing ...?


Amir Muhammad said...

I recommended Devil's Place to him but he wanted only novels written in Malay. Since it was gonna be translated into Italian anyway, I don't know why the distinction was made.

bibliobibuli said...

i also told him about Brian's novel.

maybe he had the idea that writing in malay was somehow more authentically malaysian??

anyway shall ask him when i see him next week in singapore

bibliobibuli said...

just leanerned - another novelist in english was approached, Amir, so that not a factor.

Stefania said...

I've heard about this project and it sounds really exciting seen that not many Malaysian writer seem to arrive in the bookshelves of Italian shops. It's in partnership with Giunti which is a reknowned publishing company here in Italy.
I didn't know that they were looking for writers who use the local languages, maybe the founder thinks that Malay writing in English is not authentical enough. I don't know anything about Malay literature, but if you think that this is not the case you should tell him!