Guadalajara International Book Fair Prepares Weekend Opening

In News by Porter Anderson

The 36th edition of the Guadalajara International Book Fair will showcase 70 children’s performances and Guest of Honor Sharjah.

At the October 28 news conference announcing details of the 36th Guadalajara International Book Fair are, from left, Raúl Padilla López, president of the organizing committee; Karla Planters; Marisol Schulz, the fair’s director general; and Ricardo Villanueva, rector of the University of Guadalajara. Image: FIL Guadalajara, Natalia Fregoso

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

As Many as 1,500 Exhibitors are Expected
As the year in major international book fairs nears its close, the 36th edition of the Guadalajara International Book Fair is set to open Saturday (November 26).

Publishing Perspectives readers will recall that the show last year held a deliberately scaled down physical version of itself during which members of the International Publishers Association (IPA) leadership flew in from Geneva and São Paulo for the presentation of the 2021 Prix Voltaire, as its recipient, Dar Al Jadeed’s Rasha Al Ameer, arrived from Beirut.

As announced at an October 28 news conference, this year’s program is to feature as many as 3,000 activities in literary, academic, scientific, artistic, and young readers’ categories. The anticipated attendance is some 800,000 this year for what’s considered the largest annual event of its kind in the Spanish language.

Ahmed Al Ameri

The guest of honor is the Sharjah Book Authority led by its chair, Ahmed Al Ameri, with what designers say is its largest stand yet, and we’ll have more details of Sharjah’s plans and details shortly.

As you’ll remember, Sharjah has just closed the 41st edition of its own enormous fair, with an attendance figure of 2.17 million and the participation of visitors from more than 112 nations.

Marisol Schulz

Under the leadership of Marisol Schulz Manaut, the show’s general director, this big fair, primarily public-facing, is expected to host as many as 600 writers in various events, including Irene Vallejo (Spain), Adonis (Syria), Sergio Ramírez (Nicaragua), Liudmila Ulítskaya (Russia), Alberto Manguel (Canada-Argentina), Olga Grjasnowa (Azerbaijan-Germany), Joël Dicker (Switzerland), Elena Poniatowska (Mexico), Fernando Iwasaki (Peru), Elvira Sastre (Spain), and Nicola Lagioia (Italy).

The Romanian poet, essayist, and journalist Mircea Cărtărescu will receive the Guadalajara’s FIL Prize for Literature in Romance Languages 2022 (“FIL” for Feria Internacional del Libro). The Publishing Merit Award will be presented to Guatemalan editor Raúl Figueroa Sarti, and the Fernando Benítez National Cultural Journalism Award to photographer Pedro Valtierra.

Among Highlights: An Accessibility Seminar

In preparation for the November 26 opening of the fair. A two-night tribute to the late novelist, the ‘Carlos Fuentes Universe,’ is planned for November 28 and 29. Image: FIL Guadalajara, Eva Becerra

Among key events, the Mexican Publishers Association, the Cámara Nacional de la Industria Editorial Mexicana (CANIEM) will offer a two-hour seminar, from 12 to 2 p.m. on Tuesday (November 29), titled “Accessible Publishing for People With Print Disabilities: A Latin American Perspective.” The program is being organized in association with the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC), which as Publishing Perspectives readers know is a program of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva (WIPO), and with the fair itself.

Hugo Setzer

The recently installed president of the association, Hugo Setzer–a former president of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and CEO of Mexico’s Manuel Moderno–will moderate the session, and speakers are to include:

  • Julián Calderazi
  • Karine Pansa, the incoming president-elect of the IPA
  • Camerina Ahideé Robles Cuéllar
  • Alma Bagundo Medina
  • Hilda Laura Vázquez Villanueva

The seminar will include the announcement of the winners of the inaugural presentation of the new ABC Excellence Awards. Our story on the shortlisted contenders for the award–in two categories, publisher and initiatives–is here.

In another event, Rosalía del Carmen Macías Rodríguez will receive the Tribute to the Librarian, and Alberto Manguel will receive the Tribute to the Bibliophile José Luis Martínez.

The Catrina will go to the cartoonist from Guadalajara Trinidad Camacho, better known as Trino, and the ArpaFIL Tribute to the distinguished Mexican architect Felipe Leal. As part of the literary program, a panel called “Hugo Hiriart in his 80s” will host the Mexican playwright along with Ángeles Mastretta, Antonio Castro, and Martín Solares.

As many as 620 book presentations are planned, as are FIL youth talks on mental health and suicide, drugs, financial education, inclusive readings and human trafficking, in addition to the stage performance “Carlos Fuentes’ Stories for Kids” and an evening of readings “Stories in Hills”, by the Tapatío collective Drag Queen Story Hour.

Exhibition Floor: 43,000 Square Meters

Workers prepare the the Guest of Honor Sharjah stand at Guadalajara. Image: GIL Guadalajara, Eva Becerra

This year, a comics and graphic-novel program returns to the latter part of the show’s run, with the participation of Anabel Colazo, Mélanie Leclerc, Panelismo, Natichuleta, Bàrbara Alca, Jessica Quispe, Changos Perros, and Idalia Candelas.

Not unlike Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Weltempfang, Guadalajara will include a Pensamiento venue “for the discussion of ideas and problems of the contemporary world, and it’s in this series of events that several organizations’ participation will contribute to the programming.

A rights-trading program is expected to have 71 tables, and as many as 1,500 exhibitors will be offering their books for sale to attendees in 43,000 square meters of show floor space, and children’s events alone are expected to number some 1,500, including reading-promotional workshops and more than 70 performances of children’s shows. Seventeen workshops for youngsters are to “create eco-fictions that, with the strength of imagination and the empowerment of the voice of children, will imagine “utopias and imaginative scenarios that don’t deny problems, but mark a ‘horizon of hope’ to chart new directions for reality.”

Those “FIL Niños” workshops are aimed at children aged 3 to 6, 7 to 9, and 9 to 12, with additional sessions for parents and babies. Topics include “Expedition to the Blue Planet,” “Deep in the Forest,” “The Rodcardian Troop,” “An Insatiable Monster,” or “To Act is to Resist,” which will offer the opportunity to learn about threats to the environment and imagine ways to counteract them.

Outisde Expo Guadalajara as the 2022 fair is prepared. Image FIL Guadalajara, Natalia Fregoso

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 198th awards-related report in the 212 publication days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Guadalajara International Book Fair is here, more on the Mexican publishing market is here, more on publishing and book awards is here, and more on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs is hereMore from Publishing Perspectives on the International Publishers Association is here, and on the Prix Voltaire is here

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the International Publishers Association.

More on the still-ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.