Books in Italy – and ChinaSaturday, 27 April 2013
I seem to have an ongoing involvement with Lonely Planet, even though Maureen and I sold out of the business several years ago. We have become involved with another publishing house – Text Publishing in Melbourne, Australia. A number of books from Text have appeared on this website, even before we became part owners of the company, like Lloyd Jones’ terrific set-in-Bougainville novel Mr Pip, which nearly won the Booker Prize a few years ago. Or several books from Australian environmentalist and historian Tim Flannery, like The Explorers.
◄ Text have just published a novel which is going to be a worldwide best seller. Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project is already the best-selling book in Australia and is way up the best sellers list in England.
▲ So it was excellent timing that I arrived in Italy – for the Trento Mountain Film Festival – just as it was released here. The Italian title is L’amore è un difetto meraviglioso and you can tell its Italian publisher Longanesi is confident it’s going to be an Italian best seller as well because their first print run was bigger than Text’s in Australia or Penguin/Michael Joseph’s in the UK. Here I am with the book in Verona.
▲But I also had a look at these Lonely Planet guidebooks, they’re part of a series of arty comic book style guides which originated with Lonely Planet France and also appear in other European languages, these of course are in Italian. They do not appear in English. Which is a pity, but also a nice indicator of what an international brand Lonely Planet has become. There are also Lonely Planet guides which have been written and researched by Chinese authors and appear only in Chinese for the China market.