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It's focus India at the Frankfurt Book Fair

The Frankfurt Book Fair this year focuses on India, and at least 70 Indian writers, poets and playwrights are expected to arrive.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2006 17:51 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

The Frankfurt Book Fair this year focuses on guest country India, which plans to present itself with a panorama of programmes all over Germany. Some 70 Indian writers, poets and playwrights are lined up to arrive for the fair.

Formally India's presentation kicks off with an inaugural gala at the Frankfurt Opera House on Oct 3, entitled "Dhwani: The Resonance of India". Organisers say the show will be a mix of traditional, folk and modern performing arts.

Famous Indian artists Nimaidas Baul, Aruna Sairam, Anupriya Devtale, Astad Deboo and Rabbi Shergil will star in a synchronised version of different streams of Indian dance and song during the two-hour concert.

Among 70 top Indian literary figures expected next month are children's writer Anushka Ravishankar, poets Indira Goswami and Shashi Tharor, and playwright Vijay Tendulkar.

Germany's publishing and book-selling industry is currently in an upbeat mood and showing no signs of slowing down, said Juergen Boos, director, Frankfurt Book Fair, which takes place Oct 4-8.

"There's a lot of consolidation going on," said Boos, when addressing members of the Berlin-based Foreign Journalists Association, which next month celebrates 100 years of activity in Germany.

"In the past three years we have also seen a number of people establishing publishing houses in Germany. So the business renews itself," he said.

Boos also referred to an encouraging growth of "emerging publishing markets" elsewhere in the world. "China," he said, would be doubling its presence at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, and Taiwan's presence would be up 40 percent than last year.

Boos, who was in China for the Beijing Book Fair last week, said he had used his visit to make contact with the Chinese Publishers Association, and also to meet with the minister in charge of publishing in China.

"We were negotiating about China being the 'Guest of Honour' at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2009," said Boos, pointing out it was already agreed Germany should play a similar role at the Chinese Book Fair in 2007.

Asked about conditions in China, he said: "I really do get the feeling, at least in publishing, things are opening up and that there are less restrictions."

Iran has booked a stand in Frankfurt, said Boos, noting the country's publishers' organisation would also be represented at the fair.

"In addition there will also be a few independent Iranian publishers taking part in the event. So there's diversity. It's not as if there is only an official delegation attending from Iran."

Boos predicts there will be lively discussions and possibly "a lot of arguments" at the jamboree's International Centre, where a series of controversial panel discussions are planned, one of them featuring Germany's Nobel Prize winning author Guenter Grass.

Virtually every major publishing house had brought out books on the Middle East in recent months, and as many publishers are expected to bring their star authors with them to the fair. So a lively debate is predicted.

First Published: Sep 07, 2006 17:51 IST