The annual London Book Fair will take place this week from March 14th to 16th. The most important event for Estonia will occur on Thursday, when the baton for the fair’s Market Focus countries will be officially passed to the Baltic states, including Estonia.
The London Book Fair is one of the most important literary festivals in the world. This year’s guest of honour is Poland.
Asta Trummel, Adviser for Literature at the Ministry of Culture, said that the London Book Fair is especially important for Estonian literature, because it provides an opportunity to reach a very large number of readers. “Let’s not forget that 25,000 visitors from 124 countries attend the three-day fair. They include publishers, translators, librarians and agents, and everything depends on establishing relations with them,” said Trummel.
The Adviser for Literature added that being the guest of honour at the London Book Fair has been a long-time dream for Estonia, and it is now coming true for all three Baltic countries simultaneously. “The world views us as a uniform region, although each country’s literature is unique. At the same time, the common focus will make sure that we are not ignored. The competition between countries in the literary world is extremely intense,” Trummel noted.
Estonia has made unique presentations at the seminar programmes at the London Book Fair for many years. This year, the focus is on children’s literature. Piret Raud, Estonia’s most translated children’s author, will speak about the challenges and opportunities of writing books for children, and also about the opportunities provided by being both a writer and artist. The works of the following authors will be introduced at this year’s fair: Mihkel Mutt, Meelis Friedenthal, Maarja Kangro, Paavo Matsin, Kai Aareleid, Eeva Park, Ilmar Taska and Andrei Ivanov.
Poland, the Market Focus country at the 2017 fair, will hand the baton over to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Thursday, 16 March. The joint visual identity of the three countries will already be presented to the visitors this year.
The festival programme is available here.