Greece is officially to participate in four leading international book fairs in the last quarter of 2023, namely the 41st LIBER International Book Exhibition in Madrid, Spain, the 75th Frankfurter Buchmesse in Germany, the 42nd Sharjah International Book Fair in the Arab Emirates and in the 37th Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico.
Greece’s national participation prides itself in achieving a remarkable increase in the total number of participations on behalf of the publishers, a multi-dimensional program of events adapted to the international standards, having configured rich informative material designed especially for each and everyone of the book fairs as well as a communication campaign and having put emphasis on the redesign of the National Pavilions for the most comprehensive and effective promotion of the Greek book production and the participants in each event.
In the words of the Greek Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, “The presence of Greece in the four most significant international book fairs substantiates the rise, the vigour and the outreach of the Greek book production […] The Greek book constitutes an effective and tangible ambassador of the Greek contemporary culture. Especially with regard to Greece, with its long-lasting and worldwide unique cultural heritage, the Greek book proves the country’s uninterrupted continuity in the modern era”. On his part, the Deputy Minister of Culture Christos Dimas stressed that “Greece’s participation in several International Book Fairs constitutes an excellent opportunity to amplify the outreach of the contemporary Hellenic culture… to internationally promote not only young and emerging Greek authors, but also the dynamics of the Greek literature in general”.
The Greek publishing sector in the Greek National Pavilions will be represented in total by more than 20 authors and translators, literary critics and academics, by approximately 50 publishers, cultural institutes and bodies. Special emphasis will be placed on the promotion of GreekLit, the program for funding translations of Greek books of every genre into other languages. “Greek authors and their books, ‘have a story to tell’; they are worth our acceptance, understanding and reaction […] Our excellent translators, and their translators in various languages, help make each story accessible, keeping intact the style, characters, perceptions, particular perspective of the creators.This is our intellectual wealth, which we believe can reach and touch all bibliophiles around the world”, stated Sissy Papapathanasiou, head of the Directorate of Literature of the Ministry of Culture at the LIBER International Book Exhibition in Madrid.
The general program of events at the international book fairs of Madrid, Frankfurt, Sharjah and Guadalajara in 2023 comprises of presentations of books by the participating Greek authors and thematic discussions with foreign colleagues, poetry evenings with readings of works by Greek and foreign poets, events dedicated to the tribute publications for Antonis Samarakis (Ministry of Culture 2020), Iakovos Kambanellis (Ministry of Culture 2022) and Alki Zei (to be published shortly), which were published in view of the celebration of the respective Literary Anniversary Years of the afore-mentioned writers, get-to-know meetings with representatives and professionals of the international publishing sector etc.
Moreover, at the Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Guadalajara International Book Fair a comprehensive digital exhibition will take place regarding the history of the Greek language under the title “The Culture of Speech. 3500 Years of History of the Greek Language” set up by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with and the Centre for Byzantine, Modern Greek and Cypriot Studies of the University of Granada.
- The 41st LIBER International Book Exhibition in Madrid (4 to 6 October, 2023) was attended by the authors and critics Dimitris Angelis, Marigo Alexopoulou, Popi Aroniada, Elias Kafaoglou, Christos Kythreotis, by the political cartoonist and comic artist Soloúp, by the essayist and literary critic Vangelis Hatzivassileiou as well as by the translators José Antonio Moreno Juradο and Francisco Javier Moral Arévalo. The Greek Program of Events took pride in the participation of Spanish and Spanish-speaking literary authors, academics, foreign publishers and directors of foundations, cultural institutes and festivals. Greece’s National Pavilion hosted in total 23 publishers, cultural foundations and institutes. In total, more than 350 books were showcased both in Greek and in other languages.
- The 75th Frankfurter Buchmesse (18 to 22 October, 2023) will be attended by the authors Aristide Antonas, Christos Asteriou, Nikos Davvetas, Dimitris Dimitriadis, Makis Tsitas and Helena Houzouri, the literary critic and essayist Elisabeth Kotzia, the person in charge of the publishing program of Romiosini Verlag and translator Kostas Kosmas, and the translator Michaela Prinzinger. The Greek pavilion will host about 50 publishers, cultural foundations and institutes, a lot of which will attend the book fair physically. Moreover, more than 360 publications into Greek and other languages will be presented.
- The 42nd Sharjah International Book Fair (1-12 November, 2023) takes pride in inviting the authors Minos Efstathiades, Christos Chrissopoulos, the author and translator Persa Koumoutsi and the translator Khaled Raouf. Greece’s National Pavilion will host in total 24 publishers, cultural foundations and institutes. Moreover, about 180 publications into Greek and other languages will be presented.
- In the 37th Guadalajara International Book Fair (25 November to \ 3 December, 2023), Greece partakes in the European Union Pavilion, which is this year’s Guest of Honor, and will be represented by the authors Kallia Papadaki, Ersi Sotiropoulos, Nikos Chryssos, and the professor of Panteion University and author Nikos Bakounakis, as well asthe President of the Spanish Society of Modern Greek Studies, Director of the Centre of Byzantine, Modern Greek and Cypriot Studies of the University of Granada, author and translator Moschos Morfakidis Filactos. Greece’s multi-dimensional presence in Guadalajara features, among others, events dedicated to the work of the participating authors, to the translation into Spanish of the two Anthologies of National Awards (Volume I. Short Story – Novella and Volume II. Poetry, Ministry of Culture 2020) as well as to the new publication of Ministry of Culture, “Hellenic World, 15th-19th century. Ideas, Events, Letters.”
Greece’s national participation in the international book fairs is implemented for the years 2023 to 2025 by the Directorate of Letters of the General Directorate of Contemporary Culture of the Ministry of Culture, within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan of the European Union. The Hellenic Ministry of Culture, by means of the Directorate of Letters, cooperates with the local embassy and consular authorities as well as bodies of Greek interests, with academic institutes of Greek studies in every country, and their associations in every continent, as well as with foreign cultural institutes, cultural foundations and professional associations.
Read more: Reading Greece: 19th Thessaloniki Book Fair – Books and International Dialogue; Reading Greece: The Thessaloniki Book Fair Inaugurates the DIALOGUE Rights Center Aiming to Broaden the International and Professional Identity of the Institution; Reading Greece: Greece as the Market of Honour at the BolognaBookPlus 2023; Greece as the Country of Honour at the 53rd Cairo International Book Fair