‘(Not) readily available’: Kiran Nagarkar in the Global Market

  • Dirk Wiemann


The advertisement of an October 2007 public reading by Kiran Nagarkar at Carleton College, Minnesota, informs the general public that ‘a reception, book sale, and signing will follow the reading’. While there is nothing unusual about this announcement, it merits some attention that the advertisement ends with the alert that ‘[t]he sale offers a rare opportunity to purchase his novels which are not readily available in the United States’. This notification is likely to baffle the average reader, who has good reason to assume that, given the worldwide standing of Indian writing in English (IWE), an Indian author of Nagarkar’s calibre should have no difficulty in getting his books favourably placed with an American publisher. And yet this alert is not the marketing trick of some local bookseller acting as supplier to the event, but simply due to the fact that Nagarkar — unlike so many of his peers in the field of IWE — has fared conspicuously poorly in terms of international distribution and visibility. This fact seems to stand in stark contrast to his high reputation among Indian critics and academics, as well as to the domestic literary awards he has received. Even in India, however, he is by no means a ‘popular’, let alone a bestselling author and, even for his admirers, is notoriously difficult to label due to the protean quality of his oeuvre.


World Literature Publishing Industry Book Market Global Literary Greenwich Meridian 
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© Dirk Wiemann 2014

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  • Dirk Wiemann

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