Bolivia, Vietnam in focus at 40th International Kolkata Book Fair

Kolkata, Nov 24 (IANS) The 40th edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF), that begins on January 27, will focus on Bolivia as its theme country and feature Vietnam as the guest of honour country, marking 40 years of the Vietnam War.

Organised by the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, the 12-day event will be inaugurated at Milan Mela on January 25 by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The fair concludes on February 7.

“Bolivia will be the focal theme country in the 40th edition as it signifies 50 years of immortal struggle by revolutionary Che Guevera against imperialism. Spain will be featured in commemoration of 60 years of Indo-Spanish diplomatic ties. Vietnam will participate as the special guest of honour country celebrating 40 years of the Vietnam War,” Tridib Chatterjee, honorary general secretary of the Guild, told the media.

Chatterjee said a 25-member delegation from Vietnam, comprising writers, artists, performers and publishers will descend on the eastern metropolis in January.

Guatemala, Norway and China are the fresh entrants this year.

Of the 600 book stalls, around 50 will be from Indian states, excluding Bengal.

From the northeast, publishers from Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam will participate while the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu will feature for the first time from south India.

“We are considering a variety of options to lure youngsters to books and also targeting increase in sales of books on a unit basis,” said Chatterjee.

As earlier, a smartphone app with added features will be lauched besides special shuttle services for the ease of commuters.

Organisers said that initially France had confirmed participation as the focal theme country “but they withdrew their participation due to shortcomings from their end”.

The third edition of the Kolkata Literature Festival (KLF), a major event of the fair, will commence on February 4 and continue for the next two days.

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