Authorised Chinese Edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude Coming Soon

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude is soon to be released in an approved Chinese edition for the first time, after bidding for the publication rights reached a reported one million dollars. The official edition, however, may struggle amid a flood of pirate copies. (Groupon executives might sympathise.) From the Guardian:

Pirated editions of the Nobel prize-winning author’s most famous novel – “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race,” according to William Kennedy – have been rife in China for decades. The piracy so enraged Marquez on a visit to the country in 1990 that he swore that even 150 years after his death his books would not be authorised in China, according to Chinese newspaper the Global Times.

But Thinkingdom House editor-in-chief Chen Mingjun refused to take no for an answer, writing a letter to the author in 2008 which according to the Global Times read: “We pay our respects to you across the Pacific Ocean, making every effort, shouting ‘great master!’ just like you did to your idol Ernest Hemingway across the streets in Paris … We believe that you’d also wave your hand and shout back ‘Hello friend!’ just like Hemingway did.” …

Jo Lusby, managing director of Penguin China, which publishes the English language edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude, said the size of the advance had “already created an enormous amount of interest” in the novel, despite it being “widely available in pirated forms for a long time”.

“I think they’ll be lucky if they can meaningfully address the presence of cheap pirated formats out on the streets, though,” she said.

April 29, 2011 10:31 AM
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