Russia at Helsinki Book Fair for first time

Helsinki Book FairThe largest international forum of writers, bibliophiles and professionals of polygraphic industry – Helsinki Book Fair 2009 – will be opened on 22 October 2009. For the first time, the Russian Federation will participate in this event. The Helsinki Book Fair 2009 is a major European cultural event, the place where the main problems and phenomena of our time are discussed in the context of literature. The Russian delegation is headed by Mikhail Seslavinsky, Head of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications.

The main topic of the Book Fair – «What’s happening?» – is reflected in Andrey Astvatsaturov’s debut novel. The St Petersburg writer and philologist Andrey Astvatsaturov will present his first – and already sensational – book «People in Naked». The book first appeared on the Russian book market in summer of 2009. In the course of three months, about 20000 copies have been sold, and the novel found its place in the list of best-sellers. Another St Petersburg-based writer – German Sadulaev, the author of sensational novels “I am a Chechen”, “Tablet” and “AD” – will tell readers about his books, plans, and express his opinion on the future of the Russian literature.

The other important topic of Helsinki Book Fair 2009 is books for children. In the Russian pavilion, visitors can meet Lyudmila Braude, the legendary Russian translator of books for children written by Scandinavian authors. In 2009, Lyudmila has been the recipient of two international awards in the translation category: the Finnish State Award for foreign translators and Hans-Christian Andersen award of the UNESCO Council for literature for children and youth.

Anna Sidorova, a young Russian translator residing now in Helsinki, who has been another recipient of The Finnish State Award for foreign translators, will hold meetings with readers and publishers, and will participate in round tables and discussions regarding challenges of translating books from Scandinavian languages into Russian.

The Russian book fair stand program also includes presentations by other Russian authors currently residing in Finland – Lyudmila Yakovleva, Urho Postonen, Alexey Shkvarov, and Polina Kopylova. Their books were published the Aleteya Publishing House “Russian Abroad” series. The authors will present to visitors fragments from their books and will speak about peculiarities of their current literary activity.

The Russian pavilion at the Fair has prepared a lot of surprises for visitors. Thus, between October 22 and 25, visitors can participate in the special action “Russia through Neighbors Eyes” and create an “image of Russia” from scratch in the guest book of the Russian pavilion. The Russian pavilion holds a lot of pleasant surprises for visitors: revelations, nice acquaintances, and long-awaited meetings with old friends.

Valerius, a well-known St. Petersburg artist, will assist visitors on site. It was his works from the “Reader of the World” series that became the foundation of Russian stand design. One of those pictures will be displayed at the Fair. The artist will also give master classes, and make original gifts for Russian stand visitors every day – within the framework of another special action “Angel – the Russian Envoy”.

The evening part of the programme will be held on 22, 23 & 24 October 2009 in the Russian Centre for Scientific & Cultural Cooperation, Nordenskiöldinkatu 1, 00250 HELSINKI. More information: (09) 436 00 40.

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