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Dispute Erupts Over Translation Rights to New Nobel Laureate

Chus Visor, that publisher’s founder, told Europa Press, a Spanish news agency, that he would start publishing Glück as soon as possible and did not understand the dispute. “What happened with Glück has happened with authors throughout life and in Spain as well: Many change publishers, including some who go to Pre-Textos,” he said.

In an email, Glück declined to comment, saying she preferred “not to weigh in” on the issue.

The dispute between Pre-Textos and Wylie has been debated on Spanish-speaking social media and largely presented as the fight of a small publisher against a powerful and ambitious agent, and Borrás said that he was grateful for the “tsunami of solidarity” that Pre-Textos had received, particularly from Latin America.

But Wylie said the issues began long before the Nobel news. Pre-Textos failed to renew the rights to Glück’s work after their initial contract expired in 2015, he said, and it did not pay the agreed-upon advance for the signing of a second contract. In addition, Pre-Textos ignored messages from the agency over several years, he said, then published her books “Meadowlands” in 2017 and “A Village Life” in 2020 without consulting her, despite having promised to do so.

“Pre-Textos have breached their contracts and the law, but they have also fallen in breach of every editorial standard,” Wylie said in an email. “While we recognize the respect that their list commands for many readers, this behavior would be unacceptable in any field.”

Wylie is well known in the literary world for his clout and extensive list of clients, among them writers like Martin Amis, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, Miranda July and Elizabeth Gilbert. Wylie also represents the literary estates of such iconic authors as John Cheever, Jack Kerouac, V.S. Naipaul, Susan Sontag and John Updike.

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