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Korean literature receives spotlight at international book fairs

2011/03/29 | 282 views |  | Permalink | Source

Korean Collective Stand at 2011 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Korea was invited as this year's "Market Focus" country. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

Korean literature is increasing its global reach, with more and more publishers participating in international book fairs around the world. In March, Korean literature enjoyed heightened international exposure and more requests for copyright trade through representation at two important book fairs: The 2011 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and the Bologna Children's Book Fair.

Market Focus at the 2011 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Korea was invited to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair as this year's "Market Focus" country, and will have a special booth entitled, "Korean Collective Stand". The fair, which wrapped up March 20 after six-day run, brought together international readers, as well as experts in the field and trade visitors. Market Focus, aimed at providing insight on industry trends to exhibitors, traders and inquisitive professionals, is an instrumental program for extending networks in the Middle East and North African region.

The "Market Focus: Korea" booth was operated by the Korean Publishers Association and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. At this year's fair, a number of acclaimed Korean publishers joined the Korean Collective Stand. Representatives from the Korean publishing industry showcased and promoted Korean publications and discussed trade with attending professionals. Also featured in the booth were a selection of translations of Korean literature and books on Korean culture.

On the first day of the event, the Korea Literature Translation Institute hosted a discussion forum session titled "Middle East Meets Far East - A Literary Bridge between the UAE and Korea". The panel was composed of three renowned Korean writers who talked about their own oeuvre and urged Arab institutions to translate more Korean publications into Arabic to help bridge the cultural gap between Far East and Middle East. The authors who spoke at the session included Yi Munyol, author of "Our Twisted Hero", novelist Kim Joo-young and poet Kim Min-jeong.

The Korea Literature Translation Institute hosted a discussion forum s "Middle East Meets Far East- A Literary Bridge between the UAE and Korea"on March 15 (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

The Korea team donated a selection of Korean literature translations in English, French, and Arabic to the National Library in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai branch of Zayed University to increase awareness of Korean literature. The Korean Publishers Association also successfully held the Business Breakfast on March 16 at which the director of International Project Department, Moon Seung-hyun, gave an overview of the Korean book industry.

For more information, please visit the official website at: www.adbookfair.com/cms (English and Arabic).

Korea participates at Bologna Children's Book Fair

The Korean Publishers Association is currently participating in the Bologna Children's Book Fair, from March 28 to 31, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Korean Collective Stand at the Bologna Children's Book fair (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

This year's fair has been very encouraging for Korean publications. For the first time, a Korean author won grand prize at the Bologna Ragazzi Award for non-fiction. Kim Hee-Kyung's "A House of the Mind: Maum" was highly praised and Gang Gyeong-su's "The Stories Shouldn't be True" also earned mention in the same category. In addition, five Korean artists were acknowledged for their work as illustrators.

(left) "A House of the Mind: Maum" by Kim Hee-kyung ⓒ Changbi Publishers (right) "The Stories Shouldn't be True" by Gang Gyeong-su (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

The Korean Publishers Association is promoting 27 Korean publishers, with a focus on Korean children's content, by showcasing their editorial production in the international marketplace and assisting them with rights trade in one of the most prestigious children's book fairs. Approximately 700 books were on display to meet the growing demand for Korean children's books. The organization will provide an in-depth look at the current state of publishing in Korea at a forum on March 29.

In conjunction with the fair, the Korea Literature Translation Institute is also hosting a "Fantasy in Korean Picture Books" event accompanied by a series of lectures on Korean children's books at three designated Italian cities: Bologna, Rome and Venice.

Fantasy in Korean Pictures Books event poster (Photo from the official website of Korea Literature Translation Institute)

The 48th Bologna Children's Book Fair is for professionals dedicated to the children's publishing and multimedia industry. Every spring, some 5,000 publishers, illustrators, field experts and registered press from over 70 nations attend the prestigious annual event.

For more information, please visit the official website at: www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com/en (English and Italian)

By Hwang Dana
Korea.net Staff Writer

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