Friday, December 1, 2023

33rd annual Guadalajara Book Fair begins Saturday

The 33rd annual Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) kicks off Saturday and will run through December 8.

More than 800 authors from 37 countries will present their books at this year’s event at the Expo Guadalajara convention center in the Jalisco capital.

Among the best-known authors who will be in attendance are Peruvian Nobel Prize in Literature winner Mario Vargas Llosa, Argentinian Luisa Valenzuela, Spaniard Javier Cercas, American Siri Husvedt, Canadian Dacre Stoker (great grand-nephew of Dracula author Bram Stoker), Mexican icon Elena Poniatowska and U.S. comic book writer Frank Miller.

In addition to presenting their latest work, many authors will also offer conferences that are open to the public.

Vargas Llosa, one of Latin America’s most important novelists and a presidential candidate in the 1990 election in Peru, will speak about his latest book Tiempos Recios (Fierce Times) as well as his classic 1969 novel Conversation in the Cathedral.

American novelist Siri Husvedt will be among the writers at the fair.
American novelist Siri Husvedt will be among the writers at the fair.

Although authors from around the world will descend on Guadalajara during the next eight days, India will have the special distinction of being this year’s guest of honor.

Guadalajara FIL director Marisol Schulz said that India is the second biggest “editorial power” in the English-speaking world. However, she pointed out that literature is written in almost 200 different languages in the south Asian nation.

“It’s a subcontinent . . . Every state has its own identity,” Schulz told the newspaper Excélsior.

A total of 35 Indian authors, including award-winning children’s books writer Anushka Ravishankar and novelist and scriptwriter Advaita Kala, will present their work in Guadalajara.

Mexican author Pedro J. Fernández, who will present his novel Morir de pie about revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata, described the Guadalajara FIL as the “most important book fair” in the country.

“. . . A lot of writers come into contact with their readers and you can find books that are not easily found in bookstores . . . It’s a very rich cultural event . . . There is a lot to see, there are always [book] presentations and signings . . . You should go with an open mind because you can find everything,” he said.

Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa will talk about his latest book.
Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa will talk about his latest book.

There will be ample entertainment for children including clown performances, puppet shows, dancing and live music as well as academic forums more suitable for older attendees.

Some of the issues to be discussed at the 28 forums are gender-based violence, the dangers of being a journalist and migration.

Lydia Cacho, a journalist who has first-hand experience of the risks faced by media workers in Mexico, will be among writers and artists who will be formally recognized at this year’s FIL.

She will receive the inaugural “Tribute to the Fight for Women’s Rights” award for her defense of the rights of women and girls.

The Guadalajara Book Fair, which is staged by the University of Guadalajara, is the largest book fair in the Americas and the second largest in the world. More than 800,000 visitors are expected to attend the nine-day event.

Source: Infobae (sp) 

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