Award-Winning Canadian Author Margaret Atwood Visits Havana Book Fair

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A report from the Latin American Herald Tribune.

A Canadian author who was the recipient of Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Literature in 2008 paid a visit on Friday to the Havana International Book Fair, which in its 26th edition is honoring her homeland as guest of honor.

Margaret Atwood attended the inauguration of a Canadian pavilion at the fair, where a newly published collection of her short stories titled “El quetzal resplandeciente y otros relatos” (The Resplendent Quetzal and Other Stories) is among the highlights.

The collection, published by Cuba’s Editorial Arte y Literatura, includes 67 texts by the 77-year-old author that appeared between 1977-2006.

Also available for sale at the book fair, held at the Cuban capital’s La Cabaña fortress complex, are a new bilingual collection of Atwood’s poetry and a newly published anthology of 23 short stories by Canadian authors that includes a prologue by Atwood and her husband, Canadian author Graeme Gibson.

Drawn in part by the presence of the Canadian literary icon, author of the novels “The Edible Woman” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a sizable number of Canadians visited this year’s fair, which will run through Feb. 19.

“Our authors are Canada’s real ambassadors,” Canadian Senate Speaker George Furey said at the inauguration of the pavilion, a ceremony also attended by Cuban Culture Minister Abel Prieto.

Furey underscored his country’s outstanding literary quality and said it reflected the diversity with which Canadians have built their national identity over the past 150 years.

Cuban editions of works by nearly 30 Canadian authors, as well as numerous books dedicated to late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who died on Nov. 25, 2016, will be among the main highlights of this year’s fair.

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