The 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair will begin from January 30 next year, with the central American nation Guatemala -- the heart of the Mayan World -- as the focal country, the organisers announced here on Tuesday.
Around 20 countries from Asia, Europe and Latin America would take part in the 12-day mega event -- known over the decades for its huge footfall -- that is slated to be inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The fair would conclude on February 10, Publishers and Booksellers Guild officials told the media here in the presence of Ambassador of Guatemala in India Giovanni Castillo.
"The focal theme this time is -- The Heart of the Mayan World-Guatemala," said Guild General Secretary Tridib Chatterjee.
With the fair's regular venue Milan Mela still undergoing renovation, the fair would be held at the Central Park in Salt Lake this year too, and stalls of approximately 600 publishers and 200 small magazines will be set up.
Chatterjee said the International complex will also have the presence of the UK, the USA, Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam, 11 Latin American countries and Bangladesh.
"Iran will participate in the book fair for the first time and we had a word with publishers from Pakistan. If everything falls in place, even they will be a part," he said.
Publishers from Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other states would be among the participants.
Expressing happiness over Guatemala being made the focal country, Castillo said his land "resembles India".
"I can definitely say that Guatemala somehow resembles India, by having a great cultural diversity with 24 local languages coexisting in the same territory, each one of this with a rich tradition and customs of its own," he said.
Castillo said a special collection of 22 astrophotography would be showcased uring the fair. There would be a special exhibition of the work of famed Guatemalan artist Sergio Montufar.
Javier Payeras's book "Soledad Brother", translated into Bengali, will be launched at the International Book Fair, he said.
Also, the sixth Kolkata Literature Festival, a highlight of the book fair, will be held from February 7 to 9.
"Distinguished writers, directors, historians, authors, theatre personalities and celebrities will be part of the Literature Festival. The names will be announced shortly," Chatterjee revealed.
The last edition of the fair recorded around 2.2 million visitors and books worth Rs 22 crore were sold.
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