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London reads Indian chapter at book fair

This year’s edition of the London Book Fair will sparkle with Indian presence. To be held at Earl’s Court in England from April 20 to 22, 2009, the fair is one of the biggest publishing events in the world, writes Garima Sharma.

books Updated: Apr 18, 2009 09:41 IST
Garima Sharma

This year’s edition of the London Book Fair (LBF) will sparkle with Indian presence. To be held at Earl’s Court in England from April 20 to 22, 2009, the fair is one of the biggest publishing events in the world. This time around, it will focus on India in a series of seminars and cultural events, aimed at highlighting the richness and diversity of contemporary Indian literature.

Group exhibition director of the LBF, Alistair Burtenshaw says, “As India progresses on the global stage, it was a natural choice for us to select the nation as our focus. We have called the whole programme, India Through Fresh Eyes.” Indian publishers get a chance to interact and network with European and British publishers while showcasing the wealth of Indian literature.

Priyanka Malhotra, Director, Full Circle, who is the youngest publisher participating in the fair from India, says, “LBF is very different from the Delhi Book Fair as there is no retailing at this event. It is all about business.” She says that the duration of the fair (three days) will make sure that Indian publishers connect with as many international publishers as possible.

This intent is echoed by Urvashi Butalia, Director, Zubaan Books, An Imprint of Kali Women. She adds, “This is the first time we are participating in the LBF. We intend to find distributors for our books in the US and UK. We look forward to establishing contact with few small, independent publishers.”

Over 90 Indian publishers are participating and over 15 Indian languages will be represented at about 40 events. One of these is the India Market Focus Programme, being hosted by the British Council and London Book Fair. Sujata Sen, Director East India, British Council says, “There is a wide range of exciting Indian writing that is still not accessible to the international market and readers outside India. This will reveal why India is such an exciting market for writing, reading and publishing.”