The digital meetings of great Spanish authors that the Frankfurt Book Fair prepares

The Frankfurt Book Fair is probably the largest trade event for literary works in the world. Its roots go back to 1464, some 20 years after Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press. Merchants converged there in search of new books and academics, a heritage that continues to this day.

The book continues to party

The book continues to party

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Now those patrons are replaced by publishers, booksellers and readers who occupy the approximately 7,200 positions arranged along the entire route. A figure that, to put it in perspective, multiplies by more than 20 the 320 booths that took over the last Madrid Book Fair. However, precisely due to the magnitude of the event, voices of different kinds sometimes sneak in. It is the case of the presence of far-right publishers that has provoked criticism from some authors and publishers for giving space to extremist groups.

This edition of the German fair also has a marked Spanish presence because, after 31 years, in 2022 the country will once again be the Guest of Honor after taking over from Canada. Therefore, as a preview of what will come next year, more than 70 writers, illustrators, translators, editors or cultural journalists star the program Spain. Overflowing creativity, which between October 20 and 24 will give the opportunity to attend some thirty meetings that can also be followed online by all those who cannot travel to Frankfurt.

“The Frankfurt fair is a great opportunity to show creativity, talent and current trends in literature and culture, but we are also going to project an image of contemporary Spain,” said the country’s curator in an interview with EFE. I meet, Elvira Marco, but what events should we keep an eye on?

For example, beyond the opening ceremony of the transfer as Guest of Honor, this Thursday, October 21, a round table will take place between representatives of different publishers about the audiobook and podcast in which it is analyzed how this format can also be used to reach different readers. That day another meeting between four writers takes place, this time to point out the literary ties that exist between Spain and Latin America because, among other things, the same language is shared on both sides of the Atlantic.

The book, like many other works, also converges with other cultural creations. Hence, on Friday, October 22, it is addressed in a dialogue the challenges of literary adaptations for film and television. Professionals from the publishing and audiovisual sector participate in it, such as the filmmaker David Trueba or the writer and journalist Lucía-Asué Mbomío.

That Friday there is also space for the Spanish comic with two great Spanish cartoonists: Ana Penyas and Paco Roca. Both will address in a conversation aspects such as the correlation between text and image of the vignettes, the historical events that can be narrated or the social function that this format can have. Although if you prefer poetry, the same day there is also scheduled a conversation between five poets contemporaries to talk about their work and where the inspiration for writing comes from. They are Olga Novo, Andrés Sánchez Robayna, Diego Doncel, Aurora Luque and María Sevilla.

Another of the great events takes place on Saturday 23, the day for which it has been programmed a talk between two outstanding writers: Andrea Abreu, recognized for her award-winning novel Donkey belly, and María Fernanda Ampuero, who came to be highlighted by The New York Times for her book of short stories Cockfight. The two authors will talk about how they transform local stories into universal literature that serve to vindicate the idiosyncrasy of a place. Although if philosophy is preferred, that same day develops a conversation between three different philosophers on their role in today’s world and on whether, especially after the coronavirus pandemic, there is still room for utopia and a positive image of the future.

And, to culminate, on Sunday 24 one of the great events aims to vindicate the figure of Carmen Laforet, one of the best storytellers of postwar Spanish reality. The writers Rosa Montero and María Folguera will talk about her life and work on the occasion of the centenary of her birth and, in addition, they will analyze the influence of the author on current literature.


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