Book fair in London has Greek stand for first time

The threat of war on the horizon has not harmed attendance at this year’s London Book Fair. With numbers of participants up at least 10 percent on last year, 7 percent more stand space booked and the number of international exhibitors up 30 percent, this is the largest in the fair’s 33-year history. Greece and Belgium are exhibiting for the first time. The Greek stand – run by the Panhellenic Federation of Publishers and Booksellers (POEB), the National Book Center (EKEBI), the European Translation Center (EKEMEL) and the Hellenic Authors Society – represents nine publishers, and of course other Greek publishers are attending the fair on an individual basis. The Greek charm offensive starts tonight with a reception with Greek wine and food hosted by EKEBI, and concludes tomorrow with a presentation of two contemporary Greek writers, Eleni Yiannakakis and Nikos Panayiotopoulos. This represents the first concerted effort by the Greek book world to break into the English-language publishing market, which has so far proved elusive.

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