Another year of success for Non/Fiction international book fair in Moscow
The main autumn event of literary Russia is the Non/Fiction international book fair. Started 14 years ago as a modest display of books by independent publishers, the Non/Fiction fair has grown into a sophisticated event that includes book premieres, author readings, professional debates and the digital publishing conference, Knigabyte.
This year the event hosted by the Central House of Artists was as crowded as ever. About 32 000 people visited the venue during the five-day Fair to take part in author presentations, signings, and professional discussions. The Fair had a really international feel about it. Around 250 publishing firms and literary societies from 18 countries from all over the world were represented. Supported by embassies and cultural centres, over 40 foreign guests from Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the USA, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia and Japan, as well as more than 50 local authors addressed the readers during this highly illuminating event.
Germany, the guest of honour at this year’s Non/Fiction, brought an impressive delegation of publishers and authors. Among them were Wissenmedia, Piper Verlag, and Suhrkamp Verlag, the publisher of German Hesse, Robert Walser, and Juergen Habermas, as well as translations of famous Russians: Anna Akhmatova, Joseph Brodskiy, and Andrey Bitov.
There was quite a wide choice of book on display including a wide range of humanitarian, scientific, educational, business, and literary volumes. Non/Fiction offered a great program for children with 130 publishing firms presenting books for junior audiences in a special pavilion called The Territory of Knowledge. Young readers met with their favorite authors. There were games, concerts, master-classes and a multitude of other things of interest.
“The Non/Fiction fair has created its own literary dimension, says Sergei Nikolayevich, chief editor of Snob magazine. “More and more people worldwide read non-fiction or factual literature. It’s a very interesting and a very informative trend. Regrettably, the reading audience is shrinking. In former times, we were proud to be the world’s most reading country, which we no longer are,” Nikolayevich says. “It’s a global tendency. The Internet and gadgets get people more used to compact texts. As a result, they lose interest in continuous reading. Therefore, any initiatives seeking to sustain reading habits are welcome.”