|The upcoming International Book Fair in Havana will be dedicated to the culture of the Greater Caribbean, the birthplace of three Nobel laureates in literature.
The next fair will be a lot more complex than the last one, because the Caribbean geographical/cultural area includes four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Dutch, according to Aida Bahr, vice president of the Cuban Book Institute.
In 2011, the Fair was dedicated to the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), whose populations mostly speak Spanish, Bahr said. Given the need to translate a large volume of text in preparing for that year´s fair, organizers decided that the program would include a joint conference of translators and editors, an unprecedented event, she noted.
This year´s fair is designed to further familiarize Cubans with other Caribbean cultures, Bahr said. “The Greater Caribbean is more than the Antilles Islands -it is also the Mexican coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Atlantic coasts of Colombia and Venezuela, all of Central America and the U.S. state of Louisiana,” she said.
“We want the upcoming fair to contribute to that broader concept of the Greater Caribbean, of a culture shared by people who are so different that they speak different languages, but who also share a common history and traditions,” she said.
Prominent individuals who have been invited to the fair include Jamaican Norman Girvan, one of the most important Caribbean economists and thinkers, and Guyanese writer and actress Pauline Melville, among others. Unfortunately, the award-winning Barbadian novelist and essayist, George Lamming, 84, will not be able to attend due to scheduling reasons, but the magazine he edits in his country and which is sold widely in the region will devote its December issue to Cuba, and will be presented at the fair, Bahr said.
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