Today in books and publishing: Cloud Atlas sweeps China; Kindle lands in India; China Miéville is cautiously optimistic; Martin Amis talks to Slate.
The Kindle goes to India. E-readers have been branching out lately. First, we heard that Barnes & Noble will introduce the Nook in Britain, and now we have news that Amazon is bringing the Kindle to India. Indian electronics retailer Croma will be hocking the Kindle for 6,999 rupees, which comes to about $126. "We are proud to launch this new Kindle store for Indian customers, offering Kindle book purchases in rupees and the ability to buy and read the work of many great Indian authors," says Russ Grandinetti, Amazon's Kindle content VP. "In addition, we are excited to work with Croma to make Kindle available at retail outlets across India." New releases from popular Indian authors such as Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravinder Singh, and Amish Tripathi will become available on Amazon India's e-book store. [PC Magazine]
For China Miéville, the future of the novel hinges on pay. With everything in the publishing and literary world going topsy turvy, lots of people are speculating about big questions, such as what future the novel will turn out to be. Science fiction author China Miéville (above) delivered his thoughts on the subject during his keynote speech at this year's Edinburgh World Writers' conference. "I'm an anguished optimist," he says. "In fact what's becoming obvious—an intriguing counterpoint to the growth in experiment—is the tenacity of relatively traditional narrative-arc-shaped fiction ... The text won't be closed." However, he notes that the work of writers has been undervalued lately, and he speculates on the effects a stable salary might have on fiction writers. "This would only be an exaggeration of the national stipends already offered by some countries for some writers," he argues. "For the great majority of people who write, it would mean an improvement in their situation, an ability to write full-time. [The Guardian]
David Mitchell is a celebrity in China. The situation wasn't quite as hectic as it was for the Beatles in the beginning of A Hard Day's Night, but British author David Mitchell was besieged in Shanghai by readers of his recently translated novel Cloud Atlas. The book has caught on in China, but Mitchell can't understand why. He says, "I have no idea why the book is so popular. If you find out can you let me know?" Designer Li Wei Gang, one of the novel's many fans, has a theory: "The younger generation in China wants to understand better what young British people are seeking, what they care about, what they read,” says Li. “Then there is a kind of spirit of transmigration in the book, which is an Asian thing that is also in accordance with what Chinese believe." [The Wall Street Journal]
David Grann, a New Yorker staff writer and author of The Lost City of Z, is the latest guest on Long Form Podcast. [Long Form Podcast]
Martin Amis chats with Slate. Now that he's all settled in New York, the novelist takes a moment to talk with Jacob Weisberg about his controversial new novel, Lionel Asbo. [Slate]