Book Fair The ten-day fair celebrates the joy of reading
The 16th International Book Festival is back with its share of excitement and activity. At least 300 publishing houses have put up stalls which have everything from serious reading to children’s books, classics, self-help books and fast reads. The ‘usual suspects’ are back again in the favourites’ category. The Malayalis’ preoccupation with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus and Nikos Kazantzakis to begin with, seems to continue.
A huge body of English and European literature finds themselves in translation in Kerala as was evident from the display. Translations of noteworthy Malayalam works, too, found their place. For instance, Benyamin’s Aadu Jeevitham was translated by Joseph Koyippally and titled Goat Days for Penguin Books.
Spirituality is an all-pervading genre. Almost every stall has devoted space to spiritual literature including prayer books and pocket books for mantras.
The highlight of the fair, however, isn’t just books.
Along with cultural programmes, several writers are honoured during the ten-day festival. On December 7, the Balamaniamma Award will be presented to Yusuf Ali Kecheri by director Adoor Gopalakrishnan.