The Korea Times

Settings

ⓕ font-size

  • -2
  • -1
  • 0
  • +1
  • +2

Seoul International Book Fair to return in grand scale

  • Facebook share button
  • Twitter share button
  • Kakao share button
  • Mail share button
  • Link share button
Official posters for the Seoul International Book Fair 2022, featuring the event's three ambassadors ― from left, Korean authors Eun Hee-kyung and Kim Young-ha, and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Colson Whitehead / Courtesy of the Korean Publishers Association
Official posters for the Seoul International Book Fair 2022, featuring the event's three ambassadors ― from left, Korean authors Eun Hee-kyung and Kim Young-ha, and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Colson Whitehead / Courtesy of the Korean Publishers Association

By Park Han-sol

The Seoul International Book Fair (SIBF) 2022, known as the largest book and publishing trade show in Korea, will return to a grand scale next month at COEX in southern Seoul, as a new kind of book fair tailored to the ongoing pandemic situation.

Book lovers from across the country are expected to flock to the annual event to attend a series of lectures, seminars and exhibitions ― hosted by the Korean Publishers Association under the theme of, "One Small Step," from June 1 to 5.

This year's edition will invite over 180 local companies, as well as international pavilions and publishers from a dozen countries.

The guest country of honor for the five-day fair is Colombia ― the first time for a Latin-American nation ― as Korea and Colombia celebrate their 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year. Earlier last month, Korea participated as the guest of honor at the Bogota International Book Fair.

With "Colombia: Creative, Diverse and Fraternal" as the overarching theme, some 30 Colombian authors will take part in panel discussions, talk sessions and film screenings to introduce varied aspects of contemporary literature and writers of the Latin-American country.

Notable sessions include, "Contemporary Colombian Women Writers," which will discuss the roles and achievements of female novelists, and "Voices of Diversity," which will invite indigenous poets and researchers to examine the ethnic, regional and cultural diversity present in the country's literary scene.

In-person lectures led by experts of diverse backgrounds ― one of SIBF's signature programs ― are once again expected to be a big part of the festival.

On the opening day, best-selling writer Kim Young-ha will talk about the value of paper books as he likens them to one complex architectural structure born from infinite imagination.

Lee Suzy, who became the first Korean illustrator to win the distinguished Hans Christian Andersen Award this year, will take visitors on a journey into the world of picture books, which she says have the power to deliver universal messages beyond the barriers of age, language and nationalities.

One session will feature two female writers ― Kang Hwa-gil, known as a trailblazer of women-led thriller novels in Korea, and Yun Ko-eun, the first Korean author to win the Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger Award from the United Kingdom's Crime Writers' Association ― to share their views on the current state of Korea's literary scene.

The fair's lineup for international speakers is just as noteworthy.

Renowned French writer Herve Le Tellier, who won the prestigious Goncourt Prize in 2020 with his one-million-copy bestseller, "The Anomaly," will speak on the survival and cultural influence of novels in the age of OTT short-form content.

A panel discussion with representatives from Shakespeare and Company, the iconic English-language bookstore nestled in Paris, and Portugal's Lello Bookstore, will focus on how some bookshops around the world survived through the pandemic and managed to adhere to their core values amid trying times.

A global issue conference featuring selected publishers from the U.K. and the United States will explore how recent works of Korean contemporary fiction were able to come under the global spotlight and become recognized for their literary achievements.

Three major exhibitions will take place at the fair this year.

In addition to the main show, "One Small Step," which will showcase local brands and books recognized for taking a small, yet meaningful step forward to break away from social stereotypes in the field of media, fashion and retails, "BBDK (Best Book Design of Korea)" will highlight 30 winning works of the annual book design competition held from 2020 to 2022. "Book in the Post-media Age" will present an archival exhibition revolving around the country's digital book culture.
박한솔 hansolp@koreatimes.co.kr


Top 10 Stories

go top LETTER