Sunday, January 16

Spain, ready to take the baton at the Frankfurt Book Fair


The writers Elvira Lindo, Najat El Hachmi, Karmele Jaio and Rosa Montero (from left to right), moderated by Laura Barrachina.

‘Overflowing creativity’. Under this slogan, the project of Spain as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2022 in an event in the German city in which the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, the president of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos, the general director of the Book and Promotion of Reading, María José Gálvez and the curator Elvira Marco.

31 years have passed since our country occupied that privileged place within one of the most important spaces of the publishing industry. On that occasion, the ‘leitmotif’ was ‘La hora de España’. “Then we were a young democracy, now we are a modern country, with different official languages ​​that coexist in harmony and that constitute a factor of cultural wealth. More than 20% of the 74,000 books published last year were written in Catalan, Galician or Basque “, said the minister in his appearance at the fair in 2021 that will last until next Sunday.

It is about building bridges, promoting and supporting the industry to consolidate a market which had one of its worst moments after the economic crisis of 2008, with the lowest reading rates in history. Now the sector seems to have raised its head, and it is a good time to show chest thanks to the literary quality of contemporary authors. For this reason, 70 writers, illustrators, translators, editors and other professionals will disembark at this year’s fair to take the witness of Canada, protagonist of this edition, the next Sunday.

In addition to claiming the different languages ​​of the country, Iceta has committed to promoting translation so that our books can reach the whole world. Another of the fundamental strategies will go through the technological terrain of digitization to increase the robustness of the sector. He has also made reference to the figures of the latest report from the Federation of Publishers Guilds of Spain, according to which reading habits had increased by 0.8% during the pandemic. “Reading has helped us to cope with the confinement,” he said.

Authors’ Dialogue

The presentation ceremony has also included an active and effervescent dialogue between four authors: Rosa Montero, Elvira Lindo, Karmele Jaio and Najat El Hachmi, moderated by journalist Laura Barrachina.

“I was here in 1991 and it seems to me that Spain has changed so much in these 30 years … At that time it would have been unthinkable for five women to be sitting here. But there is still a lot of sexism to blow up. If a woman writes a novel starring a woman, it is said to be a women’s novel, and if a man writes it, it is said to be a novel about the human condition. And that drives me crazy, “he commented Huntsman. Elvira cute has made reference to literary complexes that our country had after the Franco dictatorship. “At that time, talking about us seemed stale, hick, and now all that has been turned around.” The winner of the Nadal Prize Najat El Hachmi It does not symbolize that past, but the future, that of a generation of immigrants that has incorporated and enriched our multiculturalism. “The great opportunity of a fair like this is that the literature written by women and in more minority languages ​​can be made visible, as is my case with Basque,” said the novelist. Carmel Jaio.

Young poetry

To end the meeting, one of the youngest poets on the current scene, Mario Worker, who just turned 18 after winning the Loewe for young creation, wanted to remember the historical memory speaking of Federico García Lorca and his assassination by the Francoists at the beginning of the Civil War. “In Spain, humor and imagination have always been dangerous materials. In that sense, I think poetry seeks hope.”


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