Throughout the year, Brazilian authors travel from one book fair to another, as many cities in Brazil have their own literature festivals and book events. All of them have the same goal: to instill the pleasure of reading and — of course — sell books.
FLIP: Literature Festival
The Paraty International Literature Festival is a unique opportunity to listen to highly regarded authors such as J.M. Coetzee, Amos Oz and Robert Crumb in a special setting. This seaside harbor town at the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro State features many attractions: mountains, islands, a beautiful sea, cobbled streets, historical sites, delicious seafood and some of the best cachaça in Brazil.
“By bringing writers from other countries to Brazil, Brazilian literature is becoming better known abroad,” says Liz Calder, FLIP co-founder (and founding director of Bloomsbury UK). She is overjoyed with the results and the festival’s worldwide reputation has grown every year. The 9th edition of FLIP will take place this year from July 6 to 10. Website: www.flip.org.br
Passo Fundo: Literacy
Passo Fundo is a small town with 184,000 inhabitants in the south of Brazil. In 2006 it was named “Capital of Literature” by former Brazilian president Lula who was impressed with the town’s high literacy rate, something that was achieved with the help Jornada Nacional de Literatura. This is the country’s most important literacy event and serves as the model for more festivals around the country. It takes place biennially in four circus tents spread across University of Passo Fundo. The largest one, called Culture Circus, hosts 5,000 people. Other tents host 17,000 children as they interact with authors. Gonçalo M. Tavares, Alberto Manguel, Beatriz Sarlo and Pierre Lévy are expected to speak at this year’s event — the 30th — which takes place from August 22 to 26. Website: www.jornadadeliteratura.com.br
Rio de Janeiro Book Fair
There are two major book fairs in Brazil. They alternate every year between the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. This year, from September 1 to 11, publishers, booksellers, authors and readers will gather in Rio to talk about literature and buy books. Authors Anne Rice, Michael Connelly, Alyson Noël and Susan Casey will attend in 2011.
In 2009, 640,000 people attended the fair and more than 2.4 million books were sold. The festival caters to local schools and school children receive vouchers from the city’s Department of Education to to buy books. The focus of the fair is to serve the public, although numerous publishing professionals are present during the first several days, giving the event a trade atmosphere. Website: www.bienaldolivro.com.br