In the contemporary literary field, the old distinction between a niche devoted to mass production and a high literary field that was officially not interested in economic considerations no longer holds. "Real" literature is now a niche within the publication system--a niche Gisèle Sapiro has called "the literary upmarket." My presentation wants to make two points about this segment: first, that, because the value of the literary is no longer self-evident, it needs to be made explicit in a discourse of value; second, that independent publishers and imprints of major publishing conglomerations play very different roles in that niche. My presentation makes these two points by looking at the career of Valeria Luiselli's, a Mexican writer whose first four book were published by an independent publisher, and whose final work, Lost Children Archive, was published by a major publisher. I explore how this changing publication context affects the themes and forms of the works as well as the terms in which they acquire value.
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