Thursday, January 29, 2009

Australia Again

Earlier this week I mentioned the discussion going on in Australia regarding the review of local copyright rules on imported books. The Guardian reports on Peter Carey's comments that he and other authors like Thomas Keneally wouldn't have found publishers without there being some sort of protection.

Take copyright away, he said, and they no longer have a commercial leg to stand on. "And then? Then the global companies will decide that their Australian offices will be much more profitable as distributors of product than publishers of books. If this sounds creepily colonial, it is because it is."

Carey, Grenville and other writers all said that without the support of Australian publishers at the start of their careers, they would never have become the internationally renowned authors they are today. "My experience shows how uninterested overseas publishers are in our work. The more "literary" it is (about ideas; more than simple entertainment), the less interested they are," said Grenville, who won the Orange prize in 2001 for her novel The Idea of Perfection. "Writers in the future might struggle to find the success that I have, because they may not have a local publisher to put the time and care into developing their career," agreed children's author Sonya Hartnett, who last year won the 5m Swedish kronor Astrid Lindgren memorial award.

Also, pay sharp attention to the photo and you will realize Peter was in NYC recently. In fact he lives here.

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