Turkey in London Book Fair: Now and next year

Turkey in London Book Fair: Now and next year

Emrah Güler LONDON - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey in London Book Fair: Now and next year

Turkey has been announced as the Market Focus partner of next year’s London Book Fair, a rare opportunity for publishing in the global market. Each year, the London Book Fair selects a Market Focus. This year, the Focus country is China, hoping to place a spotlight on contemporary Chinese authors and China’s publishing market.

“The place becomes a character that you create and that you are using in the story. Sometimes maybe you should go there to take all the air in the city. And sometimes you need to create the place from zero, from nothing,” said Hakan Günday in his conversation with Maggie Gee, OBE. Günday boasts a growing cult following in Turkey. His seventh novel, “Az” (The Few), was published last year.

Gee was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists in 1983 and has since published books to much global acclaim. The two novelists came together last month in Istanbul, thanks to British Council Turkey, and talked about their work, the challenges and rewards of being a writer, as well what it means to be a writer in their respective countries.

When speaking about setting scenes in her novels, Gee told Günday “traveling is the greatest pleasure in writing,” and that she enjoyed “nothing more.” She adds, “There must be 500 Istanbuls, and 500 Londons.” To which Günday answers, “When you write about a city, with each sentence, it becomes another city.

The two writers will meet once again today, this time in the other city, which was part of their discussion in Istanbul. Gee will interview Günday in the London Book Fair, a three-day global event bringing together professionals from the publishing world for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels across the globe.

Talks on publishing sector

Even though Günday will be the only writer from Turkey to participate in the program, London Book Fair will host a national stand for Turkey, as well as events highlighting the publishing industry in Turkey. If you want to get a glimpse into Turkey’s publishing scene, there will be panels throughout the three days.

“Literary Translation: Turkey and Beyond” will host journalist and novelist Maureen Freely, Translation Editor Jim Hinks, translator Ruth Whitehouse, and will be moderated by Professor Onur Bilge Kula, Director General of Libraries and Publications in Turkey. In tomorrow’s program, there will be a discussion on “A Publisher’s Guide to Turkey” by publisher Müge Gürsoy Sökmen. In the final day of the fair, Wednesday, editor and Publishing Director Melike Günyüz, researcher Shereen Kreidieh Hasbini and Susan Curtis-Kojakovic, founder of Istros Books, will be speakers in the panel, ‘Windows on the World: Supporting More Translated Children’s Books.’ The event will be moderated by Caroline Royds, publisher for Walker Books.

The events of Turkey are coordinated by the Turkish National Organizing Committee for International Book Fairs, and jointly organized by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the British Council, the London Book Fair and Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centre London.

Turkey at London Book Fair

Each year, the London Book Fair selects a Market Focus, a country that promises opportunities for international collaborations and new business partnerships. This year, the Focus country will be China, hoping to place a spotlight on contemporary Chinese authors and China’s publishing market. The Fair will welcome over 180 publishers along with 21 Chinese authors, in partnership with the British Council, the strategic partner for the Market Focus for the last five years.

It will be a huge year for Turkey’s publishing industry next year as Turkey will be the Market Focus. British Council Turkey has already begun a series of activities to bring attention to Turkey’s role in the London Book Fair of 2013.

One of the first activities was the Writers’ Tour last month, where literary names from the UK came to Turkey for a set of public discussions, joined by leading publishers in Turkey.