The London Book Fair Begins

15.03.2017
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  • photy by Elżbieta Piekacz / The Polish Book Institute

The London Book Fair, one of the world’s most important publishing events, begins today. Held every year in spring, the London Book Fair is primarily a place to sell copyrights and make international contacts. 

This year Poland is the guest of honor – at Market Focus Poland. The programme of events includes a series of cultural and industry meetings presenting the hottest names, the most fashionable genres, fascinating subjects, literary trends, and peculiarities of our book market – in a word, all that is the best in Polish contemporary literature.

Making our selection of authors in cooperation with the British Council, we did our best to ensure that all genres and trends in polish literature would be represented in London. We’re confident that our team of eleven is on a par with the finest that any other country can offer.

In the field of children’s literature we’ll be represented by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieliński, authors of the world-famous Maps, which featured in the New York Times’ top ten best sellers list, and award-winning graphic artist Marta Ignerska. A writer who needs no introduction is Olga Tokarczuk, whose novels have won some of the world’s most prestigious literary prizes. She has a growing number of worthy successors among the novelists of the younger generation, including Jacek Dehnel. Lately we’ve been enjoying a crime fiction boom, with more and more people agreeing that Poland has every chance of rivalling Scandinavia, as proved by the international success of Zygmunt Miłoszewski. Representing the great poetic tradition symbolised by the Nobel prize winners Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska, we have Marzanna Bogumiła Kielar. Meanwhile, the work of Dariusz Karłowicz and Andrzej Nowak belongs to the best traditions of the Polish essay. Our literature has a reputation for superb fantasy and science fiction, which will be represented by Jacek Dukaj, and for excellent reportage, a genre whose founding generation has some worthy successors including Artur Domosławski and Ewa Winnicka.

One of the basic criteria in making our selection was to choose authors whose work already exists or is forthcoming in English translation. Several of our writers have had major success on the British market in recent years or months (including Zygmunt Miłoszewski and the Mizielińskis, whose books have been well received in the UK).

The Polish stint as guest of honor at the International London Book Fair will also be accompanied by an extensive professional programme. During these special events we will be showing British audiences the leading trends and movements in the development of the Polish book market. London will host practically all of the leading Polish publishers, such as: Znak, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Zysk, Agora, Zeszyty Literackie, WAB, Nasza Księgarnia, Rebis, Marginesy, Wielka Litera, Muza, Świat Książki, Dwie Siostry, and Wydawnictwo Poznańskie. The printing houses will also be presented, along with the most important Polish book fairs and the reading promotion projects – making nearly sixty displays from Poland.

During The London Book Fair, Polish achievements in digital publications will have their first presentation on such a wide scale. Under the PubTechPoland banner we will be showing the top national products from the publishing and education market. London will see the award-winning SuperMemo Olive Green design, a combination interactive film and in-depth English language course, IBUK Libra Light (an e-book platform for blind and visually-impaired users prepared by PWN), System Artatech – a convenient reader and sales system that can be adapted to individual customer needs, and VM.pl, the Bible in the cloud, prepared in cooperation with Edycja Świętego Pawła Publishers.

The British public will have a chance to get a taste of Polish literature, and also sample some traditional Polish cuisine. A barrel of Polish kimchi will be arriving in London, sometimes known in the culinary world as borscht starter. A food truck painted in the national colors will also be parked at the fair, serving Polish dishes prepared by a pair of Warsaw chefs – Paweł Suwała and Aleksander Baron. The menu will include pickles and pickled cabbage, borscht, herring, and jellied tongue.

The design of the Polish booth at the The London Book Fair is the work of famous architect Jan Strumiłło.

After Frankfurt, the London Book Fair is the most important book event in the world. Last year 1,500 exhibitors showed their wares in London, joined by over 600 literary agents; the event was visited by 25,000 guests, mainly from the publishing industry. The 46th edition of the fair will take place on 14-16 March 2017 at London’s Olympia Hall.

More on the Polish programme at London’s book fair can be read at: http://www.instytutksiazki.pl/p,lbf.html

We also encourage you to have a look at our gallery, where we will be publishing photo reports from the fair.