Bogotá International Book Fair (FILBo) hosts Brazil as Guest Nation

South Korea was Guest Nation at the 34th edition of FILBo. Photo: Richard Emblin

Brazil has produced a slate of literary greats, including Jorge Amado (1912-2001), Clarice Lispector (1920-1977), Nélida Piñón (1937-2022), and Paulo Coelho (b.1947), among many others. It is considered one of the largest commercial markets in South America for Spanish and Portuguese-language publishers. As a result of Brazil’s significant contribution to the world of literature, the Bogotá International Book Fair (FILBo) will honor the country as its 2024 Guest Nation. The literary extravaganza takes place at the Corferias exhibition grounds between April 17 and May 2.

Edition 36 of FILBo will feature more than 500 national and international guests, representing over 25 countries, with buyers, exhibitors, and renowned authors. Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, will officially open the book fair on April 17.Brazil’s contribution at FILBo includes over 60 wordsmiths, graphic illustrators, and editorial designers.

Some of the highlighted authors who have been invited to participate include Rosa Montero, Andrés Oppenheimer, Eduardo Sacheri, Irene Vallejo, and Satoshi Kitamura, among others.

Under the slogan “Read the Nature,” audiences will enjoy lectures, book signings, exploration of over 190 stalls with special discounts, as well as sampling Brazilian gastronomy inside the country’s pavilion during the 16 event-filled days.

Participating countries at FILBo include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, USA, Spain, Scotland, France, Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Portugal, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela. This geographical diversity promises a rich variety of cultural and literary perspectives, enriching the visitors’ experience. “it is by far the most important cultural event during the calendar year in Colombia,” highlighted Andrés López, executive president of Corferias.

The fair coincides with the centenary of one of Colombia’s most beloved works of literature: La Vorágine by José Eustacio Rivera. Written in 1924 and a novel that chronicles the horrors of the rubber trade and extermination of indigenous peoples by Peruvian rubber barons, The Vortex (title in English) explores themes of the human condition set against the backdrop of the Amazon.

Given that Rivera was born in Huila in 1888, the department’s capital, Neiva, has been named as the Literary Destination of 2024, and the department takes the honor of being Guest Department 2024 at FILBo.

Journalist and Latin America editor at the Miami Herald and host of the program “Oppenheimer Presents” on CNN Español, will also participate in this edition. Oppenheimer will discuss his latest book “¡Cómo salir del pozo!” (How to Get Out of the Well!), as well as his other titles that include “¡Crear o morir!” (Create or Die!) and “¡Sálvese quien pueda!” (The Robots Are Coming!).

Japanese writer Satoshi Kitamura is internationally recognized for “What’s Wrong with My Hair?”- work that he also illustrated. Additionally, he is behind the production of some of the “most charming illustrated books of recent years,” according to the New York Times Book Review. Vallejo, a philologist and author of “El infinito en un junco” (Papyrus: The Invention of Books in the Ancient World), a book that became an editorial phenomenon with over 30 editions and translations into 30 languages, will be a special guest at the inauguration ceremony of FILBo 2024.

Rosa Montero, another prominent Spanish writer, has been translated into more than 20 languages and has gained enormous prestige with titles such as “El peligro de estar cuerda” (The Danger of Being Sane) and “La ridícula idea de no volver a verte” (The Ridiculous Idea of Not Seeing You Again), among others.

Eduardo Sacheri, an Argentine screenwriter and author, was the winner of the Alfaguara Novel Prize and has more than 500,000 readers worldwide. He was behind the script of the award-winning film “El secreto de sus ojos” (The Secret in Their Eyes) based on the novel “La pregunta de sus ojos” (The Question in Their Eyes) by Sacheri himself.

Literary agents, protagonists at FILBo

This year, FILBo will feature the special participation of seven internationally renowned literary agents, interested in showcasing Colombian editorial production abroad through translations, rights acquisitions, and new versions of local works. The selected fellows of the Fellowship Program will be part of the International Business Hall program, which will take place on April 18 and 19.  Here are their profiles:

Spaniard Carmen Pinilla, a literary scout and co-founder of Aragó & Pinilla, specializes in literature and graphic novels. From Scotland, Carolina Orloff works as the editorial director of Charco Press in Edinburgh, a publishing house focused on Latin American literature and books for children and young adults. Sherif Ismail Bakr will come to Bogotá and represent Al Arabi Publishing and Distributing, a Cairo-based editorial company with a special interest in literature and non-fiction.

Jacoba Casier (Netherlands), is an editor at De Geus, a publishing house based in Amsterdam, with a focus on literature and non-fiction. James Tookey (UK) is the co-editor of Peirene Press and will present the independent publishing house with a special emphasis on literature and translating foreign-language works into English.

As Guest Nation of Honor, Brazil’s presence at FILBo will foster interesting conversations around topics such as biodiversity, ancestral knowledge, the effects of climate change, and the enormous human and natural diversity that coexists in cultural biomes. The Brazil pavilion covers 3,000 square meters and offers visitors a sensory experience of the Amazon, an endangered territory shared with Colombia.

FILBo 2024 promises to be a dynamic and enriching event, uniting literature enthusiasts, authors, publishers, and literary agents from around the world. It serves as a testament to the power of literature to connect cultures, foster understanding, and inspire meaningful dialogue on universal issues issues, among them Afro and indigenous identity, climate change and biodiversity.  Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this literary adventure and follow FILBo on social media with the hashtag #LeeLaNaturaleza

For the complete schedule of events, visit FILBO’s homepage. The fair is open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm (Sunday to Thursday), and 10:00 am to 8:00 pm (Friday and Saturday). Ticket prices: ($12,500 Adults and $9,500 children ages six to 12). 

Corferias: Cra 37 No.24-67