April 18, 2009
China, Europe, Germany
Together with Miha Kovac of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, we did a survey on book bestseller lists in seven major European markets over the past 12 months The top 40 writers divide into 13 writing in English, and 27 writing in other – European – languages, with Swedish (8), French (5) as the strongest, beating Dutch and German (each 4), Italian (3), Spanish (2), and Brazilian Portuguese (1). Not a single writer to be translated from a non-European language could make it into the top 40 author’s charts (in previous years, however, the Japanese Haruki Murakami, or Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk may have spoiled this exclusively Euro-centric pattern, yet only slightly). Not even a Central European or a Russian author is among the top listed. However within the English realm, 2 authors with clearly non-Western bearings and agendas are among those who met with the largest reading audiences across the continent, Afghanistan born Khaled Hosseini and India born Man Booker Prize Winner of 2008, Aravind Adiga.
More to this here.
A separate, yet related piece by us has been published by the Frankfurt Book Fair here.