By Edward Nawotka
In the wake of the cancellation of the Cairo International Book Fair, the American University of Cairo Press has announced its intention to launch it’s own fair, to take place at the end of March. Dubbed the Tahrir Book Fair, the event will take place on the AUC Downtown Campus on Tahrir Square. The publisher says the specific dates will be announced soon and promises the event “will include thousands of publications by booksellers and publishers from Egypt and abroad, and will also feature author signings, panel seminars, special receptions, and entertainment.”
That said, according to Marcia Lynx Qualey, writing in Al Masry Al Youm, the organizers of the Cairo International Book Fair haven’t entirely given up hope of hosting the event later in the year, possibly in May.
In the same article, Qualey notes that the political changes in Egypt have had an immediate impact on literary life: several booksellers in Cairo are showcasing titles about Nelson Mandela and Ghandi and publishers, including AUC, are working on updating existing books to include the recent revolution.
Of note, Qualey also offers a cogent assessment what Egyptian publishers and authors are thinking about the impact the recent changes will have on their livelihoods on her own site Arabic Lit (which is well worth book marking if you’re interested in the region).
Some things we might look forward to from the Middle East: more works with a popular, rather than intellectual or theological, appeal.