Do Governments Make Bad Editors?


When the Chinese government created a China-themed pavilion at this year’s BookExpo America, several writers protested the event. Writer Andrew Solomon argued that the Chinese government used that expo as a platform to present their “approved literature to the world.” Now, for the New Yorker, Christopher Beam shares his experience visiting the controversial China pavilion, and explores why Chinese publishers struggle to attract American audiences:

The problem, from what I could tell, was that publishers didn’t seem to know what American readers wanted…. If anyone present saw a connection between the overtly propagandistic nature of the books being promoted and disappointing sales outside the mainland, they didn’t let on, but the tour did seem to suggest that suppressing independent voices wasn’t just bad for writers, but bad for business.

Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →