Basque literature will have a voice again this year at FIL, the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Latin America’s largest book event, bringing together thousands of booksellers, publishers and authors. To shine a spotlight on Basque literature, the Etxepare Basque Institute is sponsoring Juan Kruz Igerabide (Aduna, 1956) to take part in this year’s festival. The event, which runs from November 24th to December 2nd in Guadalajara, Mexico, will be attended by some of the most relevant names in literature today.
Igerabide, recently awarded the 2018 National Prize for Children´s and Young People´s Literature, will be the ninth Basque author in nine years to represent Basque literature at FIL. The roster of previous FIL guest authors sponsored by Etxepare includes Kirmen Uribe, Iban Zaldua, Arantxa Urretabizkaia, Bernardo Atxaga, Karmele Jaio, Harkaitz Cano, Mikel Ayerbe and Anjel Lertxundi. In addition, the Basque Publishers´ Association and the Publishers’ Guild of Euskadi will have a stand showcasing the latest releases from a dozen publishing houses.
AT FIL 2018, Igerabide will present his latest novel, Ez Lemaio. La quema de Mondragón (2017). Based on a historical event set in Medieval times, Igerabide tells the story of the burning of Mondragón during a cruel confrontation between two rival groups. He will also take part in in various scheduled activities in the official program and attend a series of media engagements programmed by the Institute to generate maximum impact and visibility for Basque literature.
On Sunday, November 25th, as part of the ‘Readers Present’ section, four anonymous readers who have read Ez Lemaio. La quema de Mondragón, will present the book and launch a dialogue between the author and the audience. Readers Present was created in 2003 to give voice to readers and familiarize them with a particular book. Since then, over 70 authors have taken part in this program.
On Monday, November 26th, as part of the ‘Echoes of FIL’ section, Igerabide will visit the secondary school Colegio Reforma, where he will meet with students. The purpose for this gathering is to cultivate the habit of reading among students. Through informal conversations, students are encouraged to read books when they have actually spent time with the authors.
Finally, on 27 November, Igerabide will take part in the Poetry Program (Salón de la Poesía), where he will recite a selection of his favourite poems.
Before visiting Guadalajara, on Friday, November 23rd, coinciding with the launch of Euskaraldia, the author will travel to Mexico City where he will attend a literary meeting with students of the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) organized by the reader of Basque language and culture at the university.
The most important book fair in Latin America
FIL is considered one of the world’s largest literature fairs and the most important gathering of book-industry professionals in Latin America. This year’s event will be the largest yet, with 800 authors, over 20,000 book professionals, and hundreds of new titles from publishing houses.
In addition to outstanding names in Ibero-American literature, such as António Lobo Antunes, Leila Guerriero, Gioconda Belli, Laura Restrepo and Raúl Zurita, the fair will feature authors from other countries and leading voices in today´s literary marketplace. The list includes Nobel Prize-winning authors Orhan Pamuk (literature), George F. Smoot (physics) and Mario Molina (chemistry), poet Ida Vitale – this year’s winner of the FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages – and author Mircea Cărtărescu. This year Portugal will take the baton from Madrid as FIL’s Guest of Honor.