Sharjah International Book Fair 2022 to feature Booker Prize and Ipaf winners

The 41st annual event will launch in November and host some of the best storytellers from around the world

Publishers from 95 countries will participate — a record number for the event. AFP
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International Booker Prize winner Geetanjali Shree, Ipaf winner Mohammed Alnaas, Quantum Healing author Deepak Chopra and Big Nate cartoonist Lincoln Peirce are among the leading names set to participate in the Sharjah International Book Fair.

The 41st annual event will take place between November 2 and 13 at the Expo Centre Sharjah. It will be held under the theme Spread the Word, Sharjah Book Authority revealed at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park on Wednesday.

More than 120 cultural figures will be featured in the fair, including Moroccan poet and former minister of culture and communication Mohammed Al-Ash’ari, Egyptian author Ahmed Mourad, as well as Emirati writers Sultan Al Amimi, Khulood Al Mualla, Ibrahim Al Hashemi and Asma Al Hammadi.

 Geetanjali Shree, author of 'Tomb of Sand', the winning book at The 2022 International Booker Prize, will be appearing at the Sharjah International Book Fair. PA Images

More than 2,000 publishers from 95 countries are set to participate. Countries joining the fair for the first time include Cuba, Costa Rica, Liberia, Philippines, Ireland, Malta, Mali, Jamaica, Iceland and Hungary.

With the participation of 339 publishing houses, the UAE tops the list of Arab publishers, followed by Egypt with 306 participants and Lebanon and Syria represented by 125 and 95 publishers respectively. On the international level, 112 publishers will be coming from India while the UK will be represented by 61 publishers.

Libyan author Mohammed Alnaas learnt how to bake bread to be able to write his International Prize for Arabic Fiction-winning novel. Photo: Kheridine Mabrouk / International Prize for Arabic Fiction

“The annual Sharjah International Book Fair is a manifestation of Sharjah’s cultural project and brings together thousands of publishers and hundreds of writers and creators, in addition to millions of books in different languages under one big roof,” Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, said.

“The book fair started with just a few hundred publishers and visitors. Today, it is hosting the largest number of publishers in its history as it welcomes 2,213 publishers. Last year, SIBF was recognised as the largest book fair in the world in terms of buying and selling intellectual property rights.”

Italy will be the guest of honour this year with a vibrant agenda that offers visitors insight into the cultural prowess and impact of the European nation. Several activities have been incorporated into the programming as part of the celebration, including a cookery corner, children’s activities, as well as stage performances Aterballetto: A Poetry Abstraction and Balletto Di Roma.

Notable Italian authors participating in the fair include Viola Ardone, Luigi Ballerini, Alessandro Baricco, and Francesca Corrao.

The Publishers Conference will be held as part of the fair from October 30 and November 1. The three-day event will address issues and challenges facing the publishing sector, the future of digital publishing in the Arab world and spotlight emerging markets to promote audiobooks. As part of the platform, more than 230 Arab publishers will receive specialised training in collaboration with New York University, which focuses on international publishing standards and practices.

The ninth Sharjah International Library Conference, held in collaboration with the American Library Association, will also run between November 8 and 10 on the sidelines of the fair. The event will bring together an international group of librarians and experts representing various libraries in the US and countries around the world.

Updated: October 12, 2022, 3:30 PM