Two Venezuelan Writers Among the Great Hopes of the Frankfurt Book Fair

                  [Venezuelan novelist Alberto Barrera Tyszka. Photo: El Universal]

For five days, the main publishing houses and agencies of the world gathered at the Frankfurt Book Fair, perhaps the biggest event in the world dedicated to the commercialization of rights for projects in the literary world.

Around 140,000 professionals and 7 thousand exponents from approximately one hundred countries gathered at this event where two Venezuelan writers were catalogued as great literary hopes after reaching agreements with foreign publishing houses for the translation and publication of their novels.

The Caracas-born writers Alberto Barrera Tyszka, who was recently awarded the 2015 Tusquets Prize in Spain, and Rodrigo Blanco Calderón were highly valued for their novels Patria o muerte and The Night, respectively.

International media have mentioned that the material by Barrera Tyszka was particularly successful and will be read in France, Holland, Portugal, Sweden, Germany and the United States thanks to the agreements. The novel makes reference to the Venezuelan crisis and narrates episodes tied to the final days of the ex-president Hugo Chávez.

Blanco Calderón mentions that his work was negotiated with the French publishing house Gallimard, and he expects it will be released at the beginning of 2016, close to its publication date with Alfaguara in Spain. Moreover, he doesn’t rule out the possibility that publishing houses from other countries might become interested in the translation of his book. “This week I’ll speak with my agent and will know further details, but I’m aware that other negotiations were taking place,” he declared.

According to Blanco Calderón, “book fairs of this magnitude allow a writer to reach certain areas of reading, commentary and dissemination that an author from any country wouldn’t be able to attain on his own. That’s the value of this possibility, because it allows us to open up slightly the barrier between Venezuelan literature and the world.”

Among other Latin American revelations, highlights also included the recently-deceased Canek Guevara, grandson of Che Guevara, who will publish 33 revoluciones with Alfaguara in Spain, in which he critiques Fidel Castro’s regime; and the Colombian Héctor Abad Faciolince, with his book La Oculta, to be published by Gallimard.

{ El Universal, 20 October 2015 }

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