8th January, New Delhi: The countdown has begun for 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair 2018 – the largest attended book fair of the world and recognised by International Publisher Association, Geneva. Only 22 days are left before the yearly grand celebration of literature and culture in the city of joy. The fair is to be held from 31st January to 11 February.
You are possibly aware that as the Milan Mela Complex – the previous venue of the event is undergoing renovations, the upcoming International Kolkata Book Fair has to be staged in the Central Park Mela Complex. As far as the logistics and communications are concerned, the Central Park Complex is obviously a better option than the present Milan Mela complex but the total area was smaller than it. We, the organisers, were worried as to how the huge number of participants from the state, country and abroad can be accommodated in this venue, and how the venue can bear the pressure of millions of book lovers. We are extremely happy to apprise you that by the initiative of Government of West Bengal under the leadership of our Hon’ble Cheif Minister Ms Mamta Banerjee the problem has been resolved, and an approximate additional 4.5 acres of land has been acquired, developed, illuminated and beautified for this great event of the country.
International Kolkata Book Fair 2018
We have already announced with great pride and pleasure that France, the country of literature and culture is the focal theme country of the International Kolkata Book Fair 2018. It is also to be noted that France is the only country in the 4 decades’ history of the Kolkata Book Fair, who is participating for the third time as the partner country here. In 1997, Kolkata Book Fair became truly international with France, inaugurated by Daniel Penac and now again in 2018 where the book lovers are going to witness the great closing celebration of Bonjour India Festival.
Furthermore, the highest order of merit, the legion of honour will be conferred to the legendary film personality Shri Soumitra Chattopadhyay from the inaugural dais by the honourable minister of culture and communication, Mrs Francoise Nyssen. The inaugural ceremony of the Book Fair will be held on 30 January 2018 at 5:30 PM. The fair will be inaugurated by the eminent French author Mrs Leonora Miano and Bengal’s Hon’ble Cheif Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee in presence of the Hon’ble French Cultural Minister, H.E. Ambassador Mr Alexandre Ziegler and other noted authors and celebrities. The details of other performances and celebrations of the partner country will be communicated by H.E. Ambassador who has kindly agreed to be the honoured Chief Guest of this national press conference.
As in the previous years, a lucky draw will be held during all fair fays and the winners will get book gift vouchers. The grand finale will be organised on the last day of the book fair and the winner as in the last year will win a car.
The main roads of the book fair will be named after legends of France in celebration of the 70th year of Indo-France relationship.
Inspite of space constraints, we have tried to welcome the publishers from various states of India and for the first time participants have come from Kerala, Gujarat, Odisha, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, along with the existing publishers from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura etc. All the multinational publishing houses will have their own pavilions along with the regular direct participation from the countries like United Kingdom, United States of America, Russian Federation, Japan, China, Colombia, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, Vietnam, Spain and some other Latin American countries.
Kolkata Literature Festival
The 5th Edition of Kolkata literature festival 2018, an integral part of the international book fair will be held at the colourful auditorium of the fair ground for 3 days, from 8 to 10 February, 12 noon onwards. The KLF 2017 witnessed the presence of the 65 authors, poets and celebrities from 10 countries ranging from the likes of Shankha Ghosh, Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay, Srijato, Chetan Bhagat, Durjoy Datta, Hardeep Puri, Saroo Brierly to Neal Hall, Lin Anderson, Denes Gazsi, Jenny Brown with musical and dance performance of Pandit Ajay Chakraborti, Kalika Praasd, Dona Ganguly, Pandit Tanmay Bose.