The 28th International Book Fair and Literary Festival “Svět knihy” in Prague has come to an end

This year's 28th International Book Fair in Prague was held under the slogan 'Authors without borders'. The Polish stand was organised by the Book Institute and the Polish Institute in Prague.

Polish writers invited to Prague signed books translated into Czech, which attracted many interested readers. There was a long queue for an autograph when Elżbieta Cherezińska, together with the translator of her books Anna Šašková Plasova, appeared after the author meeting (the audience filled to the last seat). So far, two novels by the writer have been published in Czech, namely Harda (English title: “The Widow Queen”, published in Czech as "Hrdá" by Kontrast 2022) and Gra w kości (English title: "Game of Dice", in Czech as "Hra o kosti", published by Argo 2017). The publication of the latter was co-financed by the Book Institute under the ©Poland Translation Programme.

In Prague, Aleksander Kaczorowski also appeared before a Czech audience. In the Czech Republic, a few of his books translated by Martin Veselka have been published so far: Praski elementarz (“The Prague Reader”, in Czech published as "Pražský slabikář: Od Kafky k Havlovi a zpět", published by Host 2022) as well as biographies of Ota Pavel ("Ota Pavel. Pod povrchem", published by Host 2020) and Václav Havel ("Václav Havel. Pomsta bezmocných", published by XYZ 2021). All publications were co-financed by the Book Institute under the ©Poland Translation Programme. In addition, a translation of Kaczorowski's next book is under preparation.

Among the guests of the festival from Poland were also Tomasz Duszyński, who presented the second part of the retro crime series Glatz (first part translated by Pavel Peč, second part – by Michael Alexa, published by Slovart 2022-2023), and illustrator Piotr Socha (Pszczoły [“The Book of Bees”], Drzewa [“The Book of Trees”], and recently Bród [“The Book of Dirt”] have been published in Czech, translated successively by Marta Harasimowicz, Maria Iljašenko, Marcela Bramborová, published by Slovart Publishing 2017-2022), who discussed the phenomenon of Polish children's books.

At the invitation of other institutions from the book market area, Prague also hosted: Sabina Jakubowska (author of the EU Prize for Literature nominee Akuszerki [“The Midwives”]), reporter Urszula Jabłońska, and poet Zofia Bałdyga.

The fair also saw the premiere of the new tourist guide Bedekr: Poland by Pavel Trojan. The book encourages Czechs to visit Poland and is the aftermath of a series of Czech Television programmes devoted to Poland's charms. The Polish Tourism Organisation is a co-founder of the project.

The festival was an opportunity to meet many authors from all over the world, including Ukrainian writer Serhiy Zhadan, who performed with his punk rock band Sobaki (proceeds from the concert will be donated to one of the volunteer battalions fighting against the Russian army), and Russian author Vladimir Sorokin, who lives in exile in Germany.

The operator at the Polish national stand was Księgarnia u Wirthów - a Polish bookshop from Český Těšín.