The 29th International Moscow International Book Fair (MIBF) took place last week from Sept 7-11 and Literalab was there, meeting with authors, publishers, booksellers and other assorted book people.
Recently installed head of the fair, Sergey Kaykin, said that attempts have been made to make the fair more dynamic to combat lowering attendance. He also said there are plans to extend the reach of the fair beyond its traditional territory. The decline in attendance has been particularly notable from European publishers. “They’re less willing to come to Moscow, probably for political reasons,” he said.
One new feature has been to have a special area for meetings between agents and writers. Another has been to forge links between Russian writers and filmmakers by holding a day for writers to pitch their books and try to get their novels onto the screen, something which Kaykin said will be an annual part of the fair.
One way to have a dynamic book fair is by featuring a strong lineup of writers and new book releases, including Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Dmitry Glukhovsky, Eugene Vodolazkin and Guzel Yakhina as well as the release of Viktor Pelevin’s new novel Лампа Мафусаила, или Крайняя битва чекистов с масонами (Methuselah’s Lamp, or The Last Battle of the Chekists and Masons) among others.
The fair’s more than 100,000 visitors were also able to visit the stand of the Guest of Honor, Greece, while another 37 countries presented their nations’ literary offerings.
Photo – The MIBF included a green-screen trivia event where visitors were placed within a Russian or international film still and had to guess the actors’ names. I was terrible at this – with the exception of Lord of The Rings, though I don’t remember the actor’s name.