(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The 27th Jerusalem International Book Fair will take place Sunday through February 12 at the First Station complex and other locations throughout the capital.
The fair will include sessions with famous authors, writing workshops, and performances for the entire family, all of which will be free of charge to the general public.
“JIBF brings together hundreds of international and Israeli authors, publishers, book distributors and literary experts for an international celebration of literature in Jerusalem,” the event’s organizers said.
The opening ceremony will be held at the YMCA with the presentation of the JIBF Literary Award to Albanian novelist and poet Ismail Kadare by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
The $10,000 prize is awarded annually to writers whose work emphasizes freedom of the individual in society.
Previous JIBF literary award winners included Bertrand Russell, Arthur Miller, Haruki Murakami and Ian McEwan.
Other luminaries attending the festival include Ann Hood, Anna Enquist, Ariana Harwicz, Eva Mannasse, Erri De Luca, Janusz Glowacki, Jennifer Teege, Mark Russ Federman, Paolo Giordano, Elena Loewenthal, Salah al-Hamdani, Katherine Pancol and Irena Karpa.
Among the activities that are planned, the Hidden Wall Display honors the jubilee year of Israeli-German relations with a 2-meter-high wall constructed with over 5,000 wooden bricks with quotes written on them from leading German philosophers, musicians, politicians and academics.
“Visitors to the event will be encouraged to take their favorite quotes with them as a memento,” organizers said. “The idea behind the Hidden Wall is to create bicultural communal dialogue between Israelis and Germans.”
Additionally, a book publishing event will allow aspiring Israeli authors to pitch their work to top international publishers.
“A select 30 Israeli authors will be able to pitch their ideas to hundreds of international publishers, distributors and literary experts,” organizers said, noting the event is a joint project of the Foreign Ministry and Penguin Random House International.
There will also be a number of workshops, symposiums and lectures for professional writers, including a symposium on the challenges faced by publishers in the digital era, as well as a special workshop from the Publishers Association on copyright issues.
Moreover, 40 budding literature enthusiasts from 17 countries around the world will come to Jerusalem for a weeklong mentoring seminar on marketing and publishing.
“The group was selected from 200 applicants, and will be joined by an additional 40 alumni to celebrate the program’s third decade,” organizers said. “Since the establishment of the program in 1985, over 450 people have participated, many of whom are now working in key leadership roles across the publishing world.”
Upon its inception in the 1960s, the book fair has welcomed over 400 publishers from over 20 countries worldwide, presenting tens of thousands of books in dozens of languages.
The event attracts publishing houses, publishers, book dealers and hundreds of authors from around the world who come to connect with the world of Israeli literature.