Who’s on top in Chinese fiction

The yearly top revenue based ranking of Chinese writers by Danwei provides, just as in previous editions, some highly interesting (and entertaining) insights in how the Chinese fans and readers are ticking. Don’t only go for the top few names, but read the by-lines, and occasionally check back grounds for the names listed – and you will discover some absolutely valuable and relevant results. The ranking is to be found here.

Chinese novel „Wolf Totem“ to be made into a movie by Jean-Jacques Annaud

Tracking significant milestones of how Chinese literature and publishing interacts with the West, we can refer to reports in the Hollywood reporter and The Bookseller that Jiang Rong’s novel „Wolf Totem“ is going to be turned into a major movie by French director Jean Jacques Annaud.

As The Bookseller reports,

The film will be made in China, with backing from the Beijing Forbidden City Movie Co, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Annaud plans to plans to breed wolves and train them from birth to take part in the story of a Chinese student who goes to Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution in the 1970s and captures a wolf cub to raise.

The book which had been high up in China’s bestseller charts for years, was the first major acquisition of Penguin’s newly established Beijing bureau chief Jo Lusby ca. 3 years ago, and was then successfully presented in translations across Europe and the USA.

Bestselling Fiction in Europe 2008 / 2009: An Extraordinary Case of Diversity within Strict European Contours.

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.

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