The London Book Fair (12-14 March 2019) has today announced distinguished writer Caryl Phillips, leading YA novelist Holly Bourne and critically acclaimed Indonesian author Seno Gumira Ajidarma, to headline its annual Author of the Day programme for 2019. A key element of the fair, the Author of the Day programme brings some of the most acclaimed, successful writers working today to the world’s creative capital, showcasing their work and celebrating their achievements.
Headlining the opening day of the fair is Caryl Phillips, whose eminent body of work includes sixteen works of fiction and non-fiction including Crossing the River, A Distant Shore and Dancing in the Dark. Winner of numerous prizes, his work explores issues of identity, emigration, English society and the African diaspora. His most recent book, A View of the Empire at Sunset, follows the life of the late writer and feminist figure Jean Rhys (Vintage, June 2018). Phillips is currently Professor of English Literature at Yale University.
Taking up the charge as Children’s Author of the Day is queen of Young Adult fiction Holly Bourne, author of the best-selling, award-winning ‘Spinster Club’ series. Bourne’s straight-talking novels have influenced a generation, championing subjects such as mental health awareness and gender equality. 2018 was a productive year for Bourne who released her first, hugely successful adult novel How Do You Like Me Now while also returning to her YA roots in her latest book Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? (Usbourne, August 2018).
As part of this year’s Market Focus on Indonesia, one of the country’s leading writers Seno Gumira Ajidarma will headline The London Book Fair on Wednesday 13th March. A critically acclaimed author of non-fiction, short stories and essays, Seno’s work is characterised by its focus on everyday life and scrutiny of contemporary social, cultural and political conditions. He is well known in Indonesia as a consistent advocate of free speech and freedom of publication, writing about sensitive issues, including military violence in East Timor. A journalist, photographer, lecturer, and film critic, his prolific body of work also includes poetry, a cartoon novel, and historical fantasies. His English translations include Jazz, Perfume & the Incident (2012), Eyewitness (2015) and The Mysterious Marksman (The Lontar Foundation, March 2019).
In addition to spotlighting home-grown and Market Focus talent, The London Book Fair has also announced that it will welcome three prominent European authors to the fair as special guests on Tuesday 12th March. To discuss their work and how we maintain cultural ties across Europe will be Germany’s bestselling crime-writer Simone Buchholz, a former journalist whose forthcoming novel (Beton Rouge, Orenda, February 2019) follows an investigation into deaths at Germany’s biggest newspaper; internationally acclaimed Belgian author Stefan Hertmans (The Convert, Harvill Secker, June 2019), considered one of the most outstanding Flemish writers of his generation; and French novelist Antoine Laurain (Vintage 1954, Gallic, June 2019), whose books have sold more than 150,000 copies in English including his debut translation, The President’s Hat, which was a Waterstones Book Club and Indies Introduce choice.
Jacks Thomas, Director, The London Book Fair, said:
We are delighted to welcome to this year’s London Book Fair such an outstanding line-up of authors whose audiences encompass millennials to boomers and beyond. Their work reminds us of the timelessness of great literature – from inspirational storytelling to stimulating non-fiction that transcends cultural, social and geographical boundaries.
As we look ahead to The London Book Fair in March, it’s inevitable that our minds must also turn to the month’s impending Brexit deadline and what this will mean for us both economically and culturally as a global industry; we extend a warm welcome to those whose work demonstrates the best of the best that the publishing world offers today.
Learn more about our Author of the Day programme here.