India unveils Franfurt Book Fair plans
02 June 2006, FRANKFURT - Offering a preview of India's guest-of-honour presentation at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, coordinator Nuzhat Hassan said this week that the aim was to show "Today's India" and acquaint Germans with literature from minority languages
02 June 2006
FRANKFURT - Offering a preview of India's guest-of-honour presentation at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, coordinator Nuzhat Hassan said this week that the aim was to show "Today's India" and acquaint Germans with literature from minority languages
Whether the Indian-born author who is best known among Germans, Salman Rushdie, will attend remained unclear.
"The aim isn't to present India in Exile," said Juergen Boos, the book fair director. Rushdie lives in Britain and the United States.
Hassan said the "Today's India" festival aimed to show the country's variety, highlighting writers who are unknown abroad and write in India's 24 major languages rather than in English.
She said India hoped this would increase exports by its writers and publishers. Literary tours of Germany by writers have begun, and 4,000 square metres at the fair have been set aside for a cultural showcase.
The Frankfurt Book Fair comprises thousands of cubicles where publishers display their books and haggle over translation deals. The German media and public pay major attention to the annual show.
Hassan said 200 Indian publishing houses had rented regular stand space at the fair. More than 20 Indian writers, including Amitav Gosh and Amit Choudhuri, had agreed to attend. India's annual book sales are estimated at $685 million.
Indian printers and information technology companies will also seek business at the Fair, and there will be a conference on trends, India on the Rise, on the opening day, to educate Germans about India's role in the global economy.
German publishers are making a big effort this year to bring out books by Indian authors, with nearly 50 titles planned, Boos said.
They will represent 14 of the regional languages. Boos said it had been difficult finding translators from some of the lesser languages into German. There will also be 50 new books in German about India.
Hassan said German book lovers had welcomed 15 touring Indian authors. She noted a total of 5,000 had attended readings this year.
Frankfurt museums are to feature exhibitions this year of Indian art and manuscripts and the German Film Museum will screen both classic Indian films and Bollywood hits.
India was special guest at the fair in 1986, but this time round has decided to focus on its modernity rather than its ancient wisdom, which was the focus 20 years ago.
Subject: German New