Saturday, February 13, 2010

Worldview: Daniel Alarcón -- Life Among Peru's Book Pirates

Life Among Peru's Book Pirates
Worldview (WBEZ: Chicago)

In the U.S. it wouldn’t necessarily make sense to pirate a book. But in Peru, a book can cost as much as 20 percent of an average workers weekly salary. It’s resulted in a big market for cheap and illegal books. Underground publishing thrives in Peru ...complete with its own version of the book mafia. In downtown Lima there’s a market called Amazonas. There are more than 200 informal book sellers peddling everything from fake copies of Dostoevksy’s Crime and Punishment to pirated copies of the current hits. Writer Daniel Alarcón went through the streets of Lima in search of his own pirated novel while writing the recent article, “Life Among the Pirates." It appears in the latest edition of Granta Magazine.

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