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Taiwan's Wunderkind Publisher G s Solo
-- 1/17/00

The Taiwan publisher who made the first publishing co-venture with the People's Republic of China has decided to go independent, while continuing his hands-across-the-water efforts. Rex How announced during the holidays that he would step down as publisher of the Commercial Press in Taiwan, the country's oldest and largest firm. As of January 1, he took the reins, full-time, of his own house, Locus.

Just five years old, Locus has surprised the Chinese book world with such hits as Direct from Dell, Only the Paranoid Survive, Tuesdays with Morrie and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Two years ago, How signed a contract for the IDG Dummies series, which had flopped in Taiwan under the previous publisher.

Now with the new slogan "future, adventure, culture" (it looks and sounds better in Chinese), How plans to introduce more foreign fiction, which has had limited success so far in Taiwan. He also hopes to forge new links with the PRC. Taiwan comic Zhu De-yung is already licensed there, thanks to Locus; How will also be bringing PRC writer Wang Shuo to Taiwan. Finally, How plans to do more net publishing, building audiences for Chinese authors, including some English translations to promote the sale of these writers into other languages. Among the first print/ Web projects is the writing, drawing and singing of two Taiwanese women who spent two months in Armagnac, France. You know, sort of Peter Mayle meets Han Suyin.

For more details contact levin@locus.com.tw.

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