The annual three-day London Book Fair kicked off on Tuesday, featuring Market Focus country Poland. On Thursday, the baton will officially be passed to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, who will be featured jointly at the 2018 fair.
Estonian Ministry of Culture Adviser for Literature Asta Trummel said that the London Book Fair is especially important for Estonian literature as it provides an opportunity to reach a very large number of readers, according to a ministry press release.
"Let’s not forget that 25,000 visitors from 124 countries attend the three-day fair," she highlighted. "They include publishers, translators, librarians and agents, and everything depends on establishing relations with them."
The ministry adviser added that being featured as the guest of honor at the London fair had been a longtime dream for Estonia and now it was coming true for all three Baltic countries simultaneously.
"The world views us as a uniform region, although each country’s literature is unique," Trummel explained. "At the same time, the common focus will make sure that we are not ignored. Competition between countries in the literary world is extremely intense."
Over the years, Estonia has contributed unique presentations to the London Book Fair’s seminar programs. This year, the focus is on children’s literature, and Piret Raud, Estonia’s most translated children’s author, will speak about the challenges and opportunities of writing books for children as well as the opportunities provided by being both a writer and an artist.
Works by Mihkel Mutt, Meelis Friedenthal, Maarja Kangro, Paavo Matsin, Kai Aareleid, Eeva Park, Ilmar Taska and Andrei Ivanov will also be introduced at this year’s fair.
Poland, the Market Focus country at the 2017 fair, will formally hand the baton over to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Thursday. The joint visual identity of the three neighboring countries will likewise already be presented to visitors this year.
Editor: Aili Vahtla