Monday, April 20, 2009

London Book Fair opens amid optimistic buzz

Earl's Court underground station was jam-packed this morning, as much of the UK's – and the world's – publishing industry attempts to make their way into the exhibition centre, clutching or dragging armloads of books, diaries weighed down with back-to-back appointments. It's the start of the yearly rights trading extravaganza which is the London Book Fair, and although the global downturn has affected exhibitor attendance somewhat, the crowds milling around the entrance and pouring into the aisles seem as busy as ever, and the flood of new book deals struck just before and during the fair as overwhelming. A Guardian report.

With India the focus country for the fair this year, a host of big names are scheduled to attend, from Vikram Seth to Amartya Sen, Amit Chaudhuri and Daljit Nagra. Fourteen of India's official languages are represented by the 50-plus authors in attendance, and around 90 Indian publishers will be showcasing their books to an international community – more than 54 countries are represented at the fair – keen to find the next bestseller from the subcontinent.

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