Censorship Taints Publishing Bonanza


China represents a huge marketplace for any product, and book publishers have finally caught on. More than 10,000 Chinese books were available at the Book Expo America. But as publishers race to embrace the Chinese market and bring Chinese authors to the West, censorship by the world’s largest authoritarian state represents a real challenge. NPR takes a look at the issue:

Western writers who publish in China are also subject to censorship and sometimes they don’t even know how their work has been altered. In his novel Sunset Park, Paul Auster included a mention of the imprisoned Chinese poet Liu Xiaobo. His Chinese publisher indicated some changes might be necessary but Auster says it wasn’t until he got a copy of the Chinese translation of his book that he understood that all mention of the dissident poet had been eliminated.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →