What is a world book

10th March 2000 at 00:00
What is a world book? It could be a book that makes a child think hard about somewhere else in the world. Several titles enjoyed by this year's TES Information Book Award judges come into that category (awards coverage from page 6). On the fiction side, there's Beverley Naidoo's Journey to Jo'Burg which recently celebrated World Book Day early with a re-launch of its Collins Modern Classics edition at the South African High Commission (see back page). Anne Provoost's novel for teenagers, Falling, is another potential world book with its treatment of the rise of the extreme Right's recruitment of disaffected youth in present-day Europe. Prvoost is a top Belgian author writing a few hours' journey away from London publishing houses, events similar to those she describes are happening on our doorstep and the inner life of the leading male character would cross any cultural boundaries. Is Falling published in the UK? Of course not, but there's an Australian edition. Its Australian publisher, Allen and Unwin, and translator, John Nieuwenhuizen, were responsible for the English language edition of Anton Quintana's excellent novel, The Baboon King, which reached us via Australia last year, 17 years after publication in Holland. Let's hope Falling doesn't take so long.


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