The London Book Fair has entered its second day as publishers, authors, writers and readers from over 130 countries gathered for the 47th Fair.
Jacks Thomas, Director, The London Book Fair, said: “The London Book Fair has continued to have a fantastic atmosphere on its second day as we welcomed visitors from all around the world. We’ve had a brilliant line-up of authors and special guests, including our Baltics Authors of the Day – Kristina Sabaliauskaité, Mihkel Mutt and Nora Ikstena – as well Imtiaz Dharker, Lauren Child, and Adam Kay.
“Tomorrow we have the wonderful Dame Jacqueline Wilson as Author of the Day, as well as events with Amy Sackville, the UK Blog Awards, the hugely popular Write Stuff competition and much more.”
Highlights from Day Two of the Fair:
Mihkel Mutt from Estonia, Kristina Sabaliauskaité from Lithuania, and Nora Ikstena from Latvia were the Baltics Authors of the Day today, discussing their literary journeys. Sabaliauskaité summed up the shared experiences yet creative differences of the three proud nations, “The Baltics is our political identity because of the shared breaking away from the Soviet Union in the 90s, but we can’t find a piece of literature, or music, or art of collective significance. Our cultural identities are very different.”
Poet of the Fair Imtiaz Dharker joined the Poetry in Motion stream to talk about her life and work, from her upbringing in Scotland to her winning the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry. It has proved a great year for poetry in general as Nielsen Bookscan revealed that the industry has just achieved record growth in terms of volume and value of sales.
The Association of Illustrators were joined by Children’s Laureate and Illustrator of the Fair, Lauren Child, who discussed her career journey.
Adam Kay shared his experience of writing This is Going to Hurt, his hugely successful memoir about the secret life a junior doctor. “You are seeing these human lives unravel in real time. It is immediate and makes you want to do something … In some ways I don’t think I would have written This Is Going to Hurt if I didn’t hope it had some way of affecting change,” he said.
Nick Harkaway, author of Angelmaker and Tigerman, discussed how he set his new book, Gnomon, in a fictitious near-future that is becoming ever more like our current reality. Harkaway has a proposal to halt what he sees as the current political chaos: “We should replace the House of Lords with the House of Evidence, tasked with checking the validity of statements & proposed legislation. Let’s put honesty & integrity at the heart of political decision making,” he said.
In celebration of National Pet Day, Willow the cocker spaniel toured the Fair for some canine reportage. She met with author Manjeet Hirani and her illustrator Missy Dunaway who have just published How to be Human, Life Lessons by Buddy Hirani (Manjeet’s dog), and even found time to fill in for the President in the Oval Office.
American-Mexican author Jennifer Clement, the first woman to be elected President in PEN International’s almost 100-year history, presented in the English PEN Literary Salon. PEN International was founded in 1921 to promote cooperation between writers around the world.