Each November, Cankarjev dom, home to the CD Congress Centre Ljubljana, hosts the most prestigious Slovenian literary event, the Slovenian Book Fair (SBF). Taking place between 22 and 26 November 2017, this year’s 33rd Slovenian Book Fair will include a varied and wide book selection, as well as various lectures, consultations, round tables, workshops and presentations.

Cankarjev dom, home to the CD Congress Centre Ljubljana – the venue and organizer
The Slovenian Book Fair traces back its origins to 1972. Within the 45 years of its rich history, the fair has become the most important and biggest literature event in Slovenia. Since 1993, Cankarjev dom has served as its venue and co-organizer in conjunction with the Chamber of Book Publishing and Selling. This year, the five-day fair will become a place where literature meets the real world, occupying the entire CD Congress exhibition capacity: featuring 115 exhibitors and more than 300 accompanying events, including presentations, talks, book signings, awards, concerts and stage performances. Traditionally well-attended, the fair will not fail to attract a great number of visitors, the expected attendance figures have risen up to 30,000.

A 5-day journey into the magical world of books
For the third year in a row, the fair will place emphasis on international literature, focusing on Austria, Germany and Switzerland, a programme co-devised and supported by the Goethe Institute, the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Swiss Embassy. For a day, the fair will also visit Bad Eisenkappel, a town in Austrian Carinthia, which is home to a sizeable Slovenian minority. Over 50 panel debates will be conducted at Cankarjev dom, featuring names as prominent as the two-time Booker Prize nominee Tim Parks, and one of the most influential figures of French publishing, Teresa Cremisi. The focus countries will be foregrounded at debates; topics to be explored also include fake news, populism and critical thinking in a post-truth era. The event will also present the Lifetime Achievement Award in Publishing and the Book of the Year Award. A new feature at this year’s fair is a section dedicated to illustration.

Martin Krpan – Symbol of the 33rd Slovenian Book Fair
In 2017, Slovenia celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first Slovenian picture book, Martin Krpan written by Fran Levstik. The book’s rebellious character, Martin Krpan is the symbol of this year’s fair – sending the message that books are still the most effective weapon. At the 33rd Slovenian Book Fair, the strong and self-confident hero will be featured with a book under his arm. The story was published in 1858 in a Slovenian publication, Glasnik. In 1917, it was first published in the form of a picture book, accompanied with 12 illustrations by Hinko Smrekar.

Ljubljana, UNESCO City of Literature
In December 2015, the boutique and emerging congress destination Ljubljana received the prestigious and permanent title UNESCO City of Literature and became part of the global network of 28 cities that pay special attention to literature. The title was presented in recognition of the city’s achievements in this area, and also serves as a future commitment, obliging the city to aid and foster the development of literature, which is crucial to sustainable growth of Ljubljana. This has been accomplished with countless cultural events, including the Slovenian Book Fair at Cankarjev dom, the Slovenian Book Days, the Library Under Treetops, the Vodnik Homestead, the Ljubljana City Library – offering refuge to literary artists from around the world by co-operating within the ICORN network, as well as advocating reading and access to books for all age groups and supporting the well-established library infrastructure.

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