Russia will be the guest of honor for the Paris Book Fair of 2005. As learned by Rosbalt from the press office of the Russian Press Ministry, the decision was made during a meeting between Vladimir Grigoriev, Russia's deputy press minister, and the general director of the National Union of French Publishers, Jean Sarzana, at an event marking 'Russia-Guest of Honor of the Frankfurt Book Fair.' Plans for the 2005 book fair in Paris call for a large Russian exhibit and a varied program of literary readings and seminars with the participation of some 40 Russian writers.
Planned, too, is close cooperation between Russian and French publishers toward publishing literary works by Russian authors in French translation in connection with the Paris fair.
Jean-Jacques Ayagon, France's minister of culture and communications, who was present at the meeting, said: 'This will be a splendid opportunity for the entire French reading public and all the intellectuals of our country to become acquainted with contemporary Russian literature.'
The traditional yearly book fair at Frankfurt-on-Main, considered the biggest in Europe, opened October 7 and ran through today. More than 600,000 new books, CDs and brochures were on display from publishers in 35 countries. The Frankfurt Book Fair of 2003 honored Russia as its special guest, and the Russian exhibit was the second biggest at the fair, trailing only the German. As the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said, many German publishers went into the fair intent on seeking out promising books by Russian writers and hoping to contract for their publication with the representatives of Russian publishing houses. In particular, the well-known German publisher, Haferkamp Verlag, was said to be intent on arranging a deal to publish all the books of Alexandra Marinina, which have been enjoying enormous popularity in the West.