Slovenian Book Fair to honour Serbia, poet Kajuh

Ljubljana, 20 November - Over 266 events await book lovers at the 39th Slovenian Book Fair that will be hosted from 21 to 26 November by Ljubljana's Gospodarsko Razstavišče fairgrounds. The guest of honour this year is Serbia, while tribute is also being paid to resistance fighter and poet Karel Destovnik - Kajuh (1922-1944) and his birth town of Šoštanj.

Slovenian Book Fair.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
File photo

The fair, which can be visited free of charge, will be opened on Monday evening by President Nataša Pirc Musar at a ceremony that will also see the awarding of the Schwentner Prize for significant contribution to publishing and bookselling. Awards will moreover be handed out for the year's best debut novel, the best book design and the best business book.

Book stalls will be scattered and events taking place on a surface area of 2,000 square metres, organisers announced. All major Slovenian publishers will be represented, while the fair will feature participants from five countries in total.

A special programme has again been prepared for school groups, while a programme dedicated to publishing will provide insight into the sale of copyright, forays into international markets and cooperation with publishers abroad.

A comic book corner will be featured as well, along with a select display of works from the 14th Slovenian Biennial of Illustration, and an exhibition dubbed 50 50, dedicated to Slovenian translations of Serbian books and vice versa. The fair will end with a concert honouring the 70th birthday of author Boris A. Novak.

Meanwhile, the town of Šoštanj will serve as an additional stage, focusing on Karel Destovnik - Kajuh. Several publications honouring the poet will be presented, while additional events dedicated to the town and Kajuh are planned as well.

The fair's head Vesna Nahtigal, who also serves as the director general of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the press that preparations for the fair had also taken place on the wings of Slovenia's recent successful appearance as guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair (FKS).

While the Slovenian Chamber of Book Publishers and Booksellers did not play a direct role in Slovenia's stint in Germany, Nahtigal is confident that the 51-year-old history of the Slovenian Book Fair contributed significantly to the success.

© STA, 2023