Frankfurt Book Fair News

Preparations for the Frankfurt Book Fair, where the Arab World will be a guest of honor, are in full swing, though the organizers seem to be running into the usual difficulties.

The choice to feature the Arab world at the book fair was interesting but inherently difficult, organizers say — if only because so many different countries are involved. Despite common roots, the region is plagued by unresolved, divisive political issues, such as the Near East conflict and the Iraq war.

And Sonallah Ibrahim, never one to shun controversy, had this to say:

“Would a German author bother worrying about a book fair when Dresden is being bombed?” wondered Egyptian novelist Sonallah Ibrahim.

Unfortunately, Morocco will be absent from the fair, which is a bloody shame because I think its literature is one of the finest in the region and it should be made more available in the West (I don’t know of any Western markets, besides France, where Moroccan authors can sell.) Here in the U.S., I believe the best-selling book by a Moroccan author is the Oprah-selected memoir by Malika Oufkir, so we’re still at the stage of the sensational.
Link from the Complete Review.