The Beijing book fair witnessed a rise in foreign demand for contemporary Chinese literature but authors here say more needs to be done. Liu Zhihua and Xing Yi report.
Ahmed Alsaeed, a copyright agent from Egypt, had little time to catch his breath during the 21st Beijing International Book Fair, held from Aug 27 to 31, but the running around helped him.
He managed to sign contracts with eight leading Chinese publishing houses to translate and publish the books of Chinese authors in the Arab world, including those of Zhou Daxin and Liu Zhenyun.
Zhou and Liu are both winners of the Mao Dun Literature Prize, a top literary award in China.
Alsaeed, who represents the Arab Publishers' Association in China, an organization under the Arab League, also increased the number of his Chinese publishing partners to 25 in the course of this year's book fair in Beijing.
"Publishers and readers often ask me if I have Arabic versions of some Chinese books," Alsaeed says.
"Arab people used to have little interest in Chinese literature, but they have shown interest in reading books by Chinese authors in the past two or three years."