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'India will become dumping ground for American literature'

Posted on Jan 26 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, Jan 26 : British literary agent David Godwin, who has represented every Indian Booker Prize winner except Salman Rushdie, Sunday predicted India would become the "dumping ground" for American literature and small publishers would be "pushed out" by monolithic publishing houses.

Godwin said the situation would only "get worse" with big publishers becoming a major force in the industry.

"It's a bit of problem with what's going on...these big, monolithic publishing houses are extremely powerful and it's a terrific problem for small and independent publishing houses...they would be forced to the fringe of the business," Godwin said at a session during the third Kolkata Literary Meet here.

"For India, the problem would be that America would be dumping their books on the country. It would become more important for distributors. I hope it doesn't happen."

His enviable client list includes Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, Aravind Adiga, Kiran Desai, William Dalrymple and Jeet Thayil, whose debut novel "Narcopolis" was shortlisted for the prize in 2012.

Another negative aspect of big houses is that "editors get less importance".

The e-publishing industry, he said, is a "tricky business" when it comes to writers getting paid but is a good option for making their work visible and available.

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