Getting those Greek books on the map

Greek books will be traveling far and wide this year, with a substantive presence at the world’s major book fairs. «We have to go beyond the traditional markets and branch out into new ones,» Catherine Velissaris, director of the National Book Center of Greece (EKEBI), said Tuesday at a joint press conference with the Panhellenic Federation of Publishers and Booksellers (POEB) and the Culture Ministry (YPPO). New season The current season of fairs starts with London (March 5-7), where the Greek stand is devoted exclusively to promoting this year’s Thessaloniki Book Fair. EKEBI will treat visitors to a glass of Greek wine on the evening of March 6 and offer them a bottle of Greek olive oil, donated by Elais. Next up is the Leipzig fair (March 16-19), where the Greek stand will display contemporary Greek books. The Berlin Foundation for Hellenic Culture, which shares the stand with EKEBI and POEB, will organize meetings between Greek book people and their German-speaking counterparts. Greece will also participate in the «Small Languages: Great Literatures» program run by the Leipzig fair, with writer Avgoustos Korto representing Greece. The Salon du Livre (March 17-22) is an important one for Greece, as France publishes 20-30 Greek books in translation each year, more than any other country. This year the emphasis is on promoting the Thessaloniki Book Fair, with a display of titles that have recently won Greek state prizes, large format and cookery books and all the titles mentioned in Ithaca Online. Greek books in French translation will also be on sale. The Washington DC book fair (March 18-21) is the major fair in the US and Greece will be present with a display of books and information, The Bologna book fair (March 27-30) is the essential fair for children’s books. POEB and YPPO will celebrate two Greek authors who are candidates for this year’s Andersen Prize, Eugene Trivizas and Vasso Psaraki.