Culture & Society News Slovakia

Bratislava to be this year’s city of honour at prestigious Paris Bookfair

Paris, France – Bratislava will be this year’s city of honour at Livre Paris 2019, the prestigious Paris bookfair, which will be held over the weekend in the French capital. Kafkadesk has been invited.

“This is a chance to present Slovak literature and show off our culture, our capital and our country from multiple points of view. Livre Paris provides a tremendous opportunity to introduce the French public to our publishers, authors and literature. At the same time, the French book market can present itself to the most distinguished figures of Slovakia’s book world,” said Miroslava Vallová, director of the Bratislava-based Centre for Information on Literature.

For Christophe Léonzi, French ambassador to Slovakia, questioned by The Slovak Spectator about the choice of Bratislava as the city of honour of the 2019 Paris Bookfair, “this gesture expresses France’s recognition of high quality but so-far little-known literature that draws inspiration from the rich history of central Europe and Slovakia.”

“Slovak literature has indeed long remained in the shadow of Czech, but also Polish or, more recently, Ukrainian literature,” writes Slovak author Michal Hvorecký, who has been invited as part of the Slovak delegation, “it did not have a great novelist like Milan Kundera, nor a world-renowned playwright like Václav Havel.”

“There has never been a better time to discover this little-known literature from the center of Europe than today!” he adds. His book Bratislava – the Magic Metropolis, an illustrated children’s guide book to Slovakia’s capital, illustrated by Simona Čechová, will be on display at the fair.

“There has never been a better time to discover this little literature of the center of Europe than today!” says Michal Hvorecký.

Other guests will from Slovakia include Jana Beňová, Irena Brežná, Balla, Mária Ferenčuhová, Monika Kompaníková, Jana Juráňová, Viliam Klimáček, Uršuľa Kovalyk, Michal Kšiňan, Pavol Rankov, Ivan Štrpka, Veronika Homolová Tóthová, Pavel Vilikovský and Svetlana Žuchová.

As part of the event, the Interdisciplinary Centre of Central European Studies will offer an information tour at the individual stands of the Central European countries, that will be led by Jana Vargovčíková, a postdoctoral scholar at the Université libre de Bruxelles, and Emma Pavat, from the Sorbonne.

In 2015, Krakow, a UNESCO City of Literature since 2013, and Wroclaw, World Book Capital in 2016, were the fair’s literary cities and presented their most interesting and influential authors. Prague has also been a UNESCO City of Literature since 2014.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.