This Saturday, March 20, marks La Francophonie’s International Day. Postponed for a year, the Estates General of French-language books will gather publishing professionals in September next year, in Tunis, on the sidelines of the summit of heads of state La Francophonie.
Access to books is still too difficult in the French-speaking world, according to French-Moroccan author Leïla Slimani. Representative of the Francophonie to Emmanuel Macron, she hopes that the Secretaries-General of French-language books will be the occasion for a revolution in French-speaking publishing.
“In the French-speaking world, unlike, for example, in the Spanish-speaking world or in the English-speaking world, the circulation of books is still difficult,” Leïla Slimani says at the microphone toClaire Fages, journalist at RFI. This is because the French-speaking publishing world is extremely centralized. So we need to circulate the books better. It is not normal for a book to go from Dakar to Rabat to go through Paris and for it to be published by a Parisian publisher. It is not uncommon for a book to sell for the same price in Quebec, Dakar, Lomé and Casablanca. ”
“Stop publishing only for the French”
For the author “we need to better adapt the circulation of books to different markets, to different purchasing power, to different interests too, because we do not necessarily want to read the same thing every time. Quebec or Geneva. So it really is a very, very global reflection on this. “
Leïla Slimani urges “also to force the northerners, from” the old center “, to reflect on this French-speaking world and only stop publishing for the French. In fact, they have an absolutely large market in front of them! from countries other than France. I think this is going to be a real revolution. “
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