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An international perspective from Andrew Wylie

10 July 2017

‘The rise of nationalism, including in the United States, but also through Europe and even in Asia, has underscored the importance of internationalism - as a subject and as an approach to the markets for the publishing community and for writers.

This has been coming for a while, although it arrived as a great surprise to many people. The seeds of it have been planted earlier.

So I think publishers have anticipated this and have acted against it, the larger publishers becoming more international in their approach, not only to their business but also to the books that they publish. There's a concerted effort underway in the United States for the publication of more writers from around the world, both in other languages and in English. And I think that other countries are looking at the world from an international perspective as well as a national perspective.

The publishing world, and writers, are at odds with the nationalist agenda...

For us, one of the most important developments of recent years has been the rise of young African writers. Many of them from Nigeria but not only from Nigeria. They're from across Africa. These works are necessarily political as well as purely aesthetic.

Many of those writers are engaged at a very deep level on questions of internationalism because many of the writers travel between Nigeria and the United States. They talk about the difficulty of assimilation not only in the United States but on return to Africa. It's a marvellous demonstration of the strength of internationalism and the question that internationalism raises with a young writer.'

Andrew Wylie of The Wylie Agency in Publishing Perspectives