Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

单向空间 OWSpace Bookstores Struggling to Survive

By David Haysom, published

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The One-Way bookstores have been a home for literature for the last fifteen years, providing space on their shelves for the kind of books that are hard to find anywhere else, as well as hosting literary talks and events with local and international authors. Now, with the impact of COVID-19 bringing their business to a standstill, they are in need of donations just to be able to keep paying rent.

In this Wechat post they explain that they have only been able to keep one of their four stores open. That one store, in a Beijing shopping mall that now has a tenth of its usual customers, has been selling no more than a handful of books a day. Restrictions on delivery services have also taken a huge chunk out of their online sales.

OWSpace are the publishers of One-Way Street Magazine (单读): an outstanding literary journal, a rare independent voice in contemporary Chinese media, and our collaborators for the "Read Paper Republic: Dispatches" series of creative non-fiction pieces. Last year, a profile in Neocha described the publication as "a journal that thinks books and ideas are worth arguing about [...] a platform for opinions, articles of faith, and moments of doubt—in short, a public conversation about cultural life."

To support OWSpace and One-Way Street Magazine – and everything they do for the literary scene in China – you can make a donation here.


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