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Miami Part Two—The Agent Buzz Panel

By Dedi Felman

Miami Part Two—Buzz Panel suggestions

It's almost 60 degrees and sunny here in New York City, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is in full swing (welcome Shrek, Abby Cadabby, and to the joy of schoolgirls everywhere, "Hello Kitty Supercute"), and the Broadway stagehands are still on strike. Something is both terribly right and terribly askew in the universe.

Meanwhile, my mind is still in Miami and on the premise of better later than never, I present the first installment of world literature suggestions from our Miami Agent Buzz panel. A bit of background, first: the Buzz panel is now a fixture at Book Expo America (BEA), America's largest publishing extravaganza. At BEA, this panel features top editors talking about the one or two books for the coming season that have a special place in their hearts--a feeling that editors hope to transmit to the swarms of attending book buyers. BEA is held in June when the buzz for the autumn book season really starts to get going, and these panels are well-attended events that kick the volume up for selected works even higher.

At Miami's Translation Market, agents substituted for editors: the idea was to introduce editors, translators, and publishing professionals to a select few exciting international titles of which they may not yet have heard. Every day authors, many of whom will go on to win major prizes and acclaim in their own part of the globe, are translated and published in the rest of the world and still no English speaking reader knows about, or worse, has the opportunity to read, their work. How do we transform this state of one-way ignorance in which American-originated publications dominate the charts elsewhere and yet few Americans have any idea what the rest of the world is thinking and writing? The Agents Buzz panel provided an unique—and tremendously fun—opportunity to increase the international information flow.

Participants included Isobel Dixon, Director, Blake Friedmann Agency, London; Carol Frederick, Director, International Scouting at the Sanford Greenburger Agency; Lucinda Karter, Director at the French Publishers Agency; Carmen Pinilla, Director of Foreign Rights from the Carmen Balcells Agency, Spain; and David Draper Clark Editor-in-Chief of World Literature Today. As moderator, I had a blast revisiting favorites and learning of new talents. I hope that we'll have many more such panels and that in the near future you'll see even more of the below-listed titles in your local bookseller's window display. In the meantime, join us in pumping up the volume for the following (More TK after the holiday.)


Amelie Nothomb and her new novel Ni d'Adam ni d'Eve

Stéphane Audeguy's The Theory of Clouds (Harcourt, 2007)

and Alabama Song, the winner of this year's Goncourt, by Gilles Leroy.


Guillermo Martinez, The Oxford Murders (Crimenes de Oxford) has sold over 150.000 copies in English language, more than in original Spanish. At Little, Brown UK and MacAdamCage/Penguin US Martinez's next novel Book of Murders (La Muerte Lenta de Luciana) is being published next May/October.

Carlos Maria Dominguez, The House of Paper (La Casa de Papel) is also a bestselling title in the English illustrated edition of Harvill/Hartcourt Brace.

Three Cuban authors from the island:

Senel Paz, IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS (EN EL CIELO CON DIAMANTES). A coming of age prequel to FRESA & CHOCOLATE, set in a boarding school for revolutionaries in Havana in the sixities.

Wendy Guerra, EVERYBODY GOES (TODOS SE VAN). The fictional diary of a young woman who wants to become an artist and telling stories of everyday lives.

Ena Lucia Portela, A HUNDRED OF BOTTLES AGAINST THE WALL (CIEN BOTELLAS EN UNA PARED). A beautiful and funny literary novel of a young woman struggling in an unhappy marriage in the years of the so-called íperiodo especialë.

And the astonishing discovery of ALFAGUARA PRIZE 2007

Luis Leante, SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU (MIRA SI YO TE QUERRE). A magic love story throughout 40 years and against the background of the forgotten people of the Sahara desert, the last Spanish colony in Africa that have been struggling for independence for almost 30 years now.

More Buzz to come after the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks to all the panelists for this international literary feast.

Published Nov 22, 2007   Copyright 2007 Dedi Felman

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