Weekly book agenda: Sharjah World Book Fair, Premio Leya

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The Independent Culture

Upcoming highlights for the week of November 7 include the Sharjah Book Fair--one of the largest in the Middle East--as well as the Man Literary Prize, which honors Asian authors whose work has not yet been published in English. Later this month: the Spanish-speaking world's most prestigious literary prize and largest book fair.

Sharjah World Book Fair
November 11-21
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

The Department of Culture and Information of Sharjah has organized the Sharjah World Book Fair since 1982. Now in its 28th edition, the fair has an average attendance of 400,000 visitors, who can browse through the offerings of more than 750 publishers from nearly 42 countries. The event is recognized as one of the most significant book fairs in the Middle East.

Premio Leya
November 13
Lisbon, Portugal

This award goes to the top Portuguese-language novel in the world and has a purse of €100,000. The first Premio Leya was awarded in 2008 to Brazilian journalist and author Murilo Antônio de Carvalho. Leya is an international book company based in Portugal which established this award to support Portuguese-language authors.


Man Asian Literary Prize
November 16
Hong Kong, China

The Man Asian Literary Prize, inaugurated in 2007, is awarded annually to an Asian writer for a novel that has not yet been published in English. Last year's winner was Montreal-based Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco, whose Ilustrado is due out in English translation in April 2010. The Man Asian Prize was established to bring Asian authors to worldwide literary attention and to facilitate the translation and publishing of their works in English.


Nabokov's The Original of Laura
November 10, 17

Beginning November 10, Playboy magazine in the US will publish a serialization of Nabokov's final, unfinished work, The Original of Laura. Playboy won the serial rights to the novella in July, thus continuing a long relationship between Nabokov and the magazine: Playboy previously published a portion of his 1969 work Ada and ran an interview with the author before his death in 1977. On November 17, Knopf will release the book version of The Original of Laura; the book can currently be pre-ordered at randomhouse.com .


Salon du Livre de Montréal
November 18-23
Montreal, Canada

The Salon du Livre de Montréal is an annual event bringing together writers, publishers, booksellers, and agents from around the world. The 2008 fair attracted nearly 120,000 visitors and more than 1,450 authors. Held at Montreal's Place Bonaventure, the fair features an extensive program of readings, launches, seminars, and social events. It is one of the three largest French-language book fairs in the world.

United States National Book Awards
November 18
New York City, US

The National Book Foundation will announce the winners of the 2009 National Book Awards in a November 18 ceremony in New York City. Awards will be given in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people's literature. The National Book Awards have recognized excellence in American literature since 1950.


Premio Miguel de Cervantes
November 20
Madrid, Spain

Since 1976, the Premio Miguel de Cervantes has recognized the lifetime achievement of Spanish-language writers. The 2008 winner was Spanish novelist, journalist, and screenwriter Juan Marsé. Winners receive a monetary award of €125,000 from the Ministry of Culture of Spain.


Guadalajara International Book Fair
November 28-December 6
Guadalajara, Mexico

The Guadalajara International Book Fair, known as the "FIL" (Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara) is the second largest book fair in the world, after that of Frankfurt, and the principal book fair for Spanish-language publishing. An estimated 500,000 readers attend the event each year, as well as 1,600 publishers from 40 countries. This year, the fair will celebrate the cultural and literary heritage of Los Angeles, its 2009 Guest of Honor.