Thursday, December 6, 2018

Paco Taibo Takes over at Top Mexican Publisher

From PW:

On December 1, Andrés Manuel López Obrado was sworn in as the new president of Mexico; he is the first leftist politician to assume the role in 70 years. In October, shortly after his election, Obrador asked the writer Pablo Ignacio Taibo II to take over as director of Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico’s large state-owned publishing house. Taiblo agreed and assumed the job at Fondo on December 1.

Taibo has written more than 40 books and is best known abroad as a mystery novelist; numerous of his books have been published in English-language translations, most recently by Restless Books. He is viewed as a controversial choice to run Fondo, which is a cornerstone of the Mexican publishing industry, one with a backlist of more than 10,000 titles, including a majority of the classics of Mexican intellectual patrimony. In addition, Fondo runs 27 bookstores across Mexico, making it the country's third largest bookstore chain; the publisher also has 10 foreign subsidiaries, including ones in the U.S. and Spain.

“Taibo is seen as a political radical, a Zapatista and, to some, an anarchist. The fear is that he will not be a good steward of the house or its patrimony,” said one publisher who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals due to criticism in the close knit Mexican publishing community.

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