Russia Is BEA's 2012 Market Focus

I’ve known about this for a while (and may have even mentioned it on here at some point), but Russia is going to the be market focus at next year’s BookExpo America. This is part of the “Read Russia 2012” program, which is explained in the official press release:

Russia will be the country of focus and attention at BEA’s Global Market Forum 2012, June 5 – 7 and BEA will figure prominently into Read Russia 2012, the largest Russian initiative ever to promote Russian literature and Russian book culture in the United States. The Read Russia 2012 program, sponsored by the Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication and Media under the direction of Vladimir Grigoriev, will feature translation grants for the publication of contemporary and classical Russian literature in English, author tours for leading Russian writers and their publishers, a major exhibition on children’s book art, and a traveling film series and a new documentary television project about Russian literature. Over 40 Russian authors and translators are expected to travel to New York for various activities associated with Read Russia 2012 and BEA’s Global Market Forum.

The creation of a Russian institute of translation as well as awards to popularize and foster translations for both Russian contemporary and classic prose and poetry will be among the highlights of the cultural and professional programming for the Global Market Forum 2012 [. . .] Grigoriev noted that while in the past Russian literature has had a prominent role internationally, “today very few Russian writers find the reading audience they deserve, which is what we want to start changing through our efforts at and around BookExpo America in 2012.”

While making this announcement, Vladimir Grigoriev was accompanied by Mikhail Shishkin, one of the most gifted new Russian authors, who has recently been awarded the prestigious Haus der Kulturen der Welt international award, for the best of the younger generation. Shishkin added how excited he was at the prospect of being part of the upcoming program at BEA.

This is particularly awesome since Open Letter is going to be bringing out Mikhail Shishkin’s Maidenhair next year . . . Lots more info on that to come.

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