The 32nd edition of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) will take place from November 24 to December 2. The professional dates are November 26–28. FIL is the world’s largest Spanish-language book fair and, in addition to attracting book professionals from all over the globe, it is open to the general public.
Every year FIL adds new elements to its program, and this year it promises a delicious new section: Books to Taste. Dedicated to culinary arts, the space will include a culinary library specializing in gastronomy and workshops on the art and history of food.
More than 400,000 titles from 47 countries will be exhibited at this year’s FIL, where more than 20,000 book professionals—representing about 2,000 publishers—are expected to attend. The Rights Room, which features the buying and selling of foreign rights, continues to expand and will have representatives from 29 countries, including the U.S.
FIL will offer a full lineup of authors, academics, and entertainers, with Portugal as this year’s guest of honor. More than 800 authors will participate at FIL, including the Nobel Prize–winners Orhan Pamuk, George F. Smoot, and Mario Molina. Attendees will hear a presentation from the opera singer Plácido Domingo that will include a special homage to José Saramago, Portugal’s Nobel Prize–winning writer. Forty authors will attend from Portugal. In addition, Portuguese artists and entertainers will hold events throughout Guadalajara.
“Listen to the Calling” is the slogan of this edition of FIL Children, where almost 200,000 children will have the opportunity to discover the stories of the heroes of literature. “For FIL Children, the interaction between the authors and book professionals with their young readers is fundamental,” says Marisol Schulz, the director of the fair. This will be achieved through a series of 37 “spontaneous workshops” led by Portuguese illustrator António Jorge Gonçalves and Mexican writer Juan Pablo Villalobos.
Among other activities, the FIL Youth program will ask, “Who the Heck Was Darwin?” The We Are Booktubers video contest is in its fifth edition and this year will focus on poetry. In addition, hundreds of young people who are dedicated to promoting reading on digital platforms will meet for the 2018 National Booktube Conference.
The wide array of activities for children and young adults are two of the things that Schulz is most proud of. “The book fair bets on the formation of new readers,” she says.
This year’s fair will also feature the fifth edition of FIL Science, which will be dedicated to the relationship between gastronomy and science. As in past years, FIL and the American Library Association are working together to attract U.S. librarians, who often make many of their yearly purchases at the fair as they are able to find books from all over the world under one roof. There will be a free gala dinner for ALA members, sponsored by publishers and distributors (and Publishers Weekly). Of particular interest is the annual International Colloquium for Librarians, set this year for November 26–28 and featuring lectures by Eloy Rodrigues, Loida Garcia-Febo, and Tomás de Híjar Ornelas.
The International Publishers and Book Professionals forums, which are opened to all professional attendees and will be held November 27–28, also attract a fair number of librarians. Both events are held in Spanish. “We always look forward to hosting U.S. librarians,” Schulz says. “We know the challenges they face in finding books in Spanish to meet the needs of their patrons who come from every corner of Latin America.”