On the occasion of the handover between Canada, Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021, and Spain, Guest of Honour 2022, the Canadian pavillion will house two common theme encounters between writers of both countries.
On October 21st at 1:00 p.m., novelist Michel Jean and writer Najat El Hachmi will state their view on rootlessness from their narrative perspectives. They will aproach cultural oblivion as a result of losing landscape and the impact of the loss of material posessions due to immigration.
Michel Jean is Innu from Mashteuiatsh. He has written 11 books and is also highly renowned as TV news anchor and investigative journalist. His novel Kukum, a tribute to his great-grandmother, was the second-bestselling novel in Quebec in 2020.
Najat El Hachmi (Beni Sidel, Marruecos, 1979) moved to Vic (Barcelona) when she was eight years old, where she grew up. She is the author of the novels L’últim patriarca (Ramon Llull Prize, Prix Ulysse, and finalist of the Prix Mediterranée étranger), translated into ten languages, La caçadora de cossos, La filla estrangera (Sant Joan Prize for Narrative) and Mare de llet i de mel. Dilluns ens estimaran (Nadal Prize 2021) is her latest novel.
This encounter will be moderated by German philologist and journalist Gesa Üfer. Üfer regularly takes part in the literary radio programme Die Literaturagenten on radioeins (rbb) and is contributor to the pop-culture magazine Kompressor on Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
On October 22nd at 11:00 a.m. Vivek Shraya, Canadian writer and artist, will hold a conversation with Spanish autor Karmele Jaio. In their works both tackle the need of reviewing the building of gender identities form different points of view (feminist and transgender) and frequently dispute the way in which one “learns” being male or female.
Vivek Shraya is an artist whose work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, theatre, and film. Her best-selling book I’m Afraid of Men was heralded by Vanity Fair as “cultural rocket fuel.” A five-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, she has been honoured by The Writers’ Trust of Canada and The Publishing Triangle.
Karmele Jaio (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1970) is the author of several books of short stories, three novels –Amaren eskuak, Musika airean and Aitaren etxea– and a book of poems, Orain hilak ditugu. Amaren eskuak was adapted for the screen and presented at the San Sebastián International Film Festival. Her stories have been published in numerous anthologies, including Best European Fiction 2017. Her novel Aitaren etxea received the Euskadi Literature Prize.
Ingrid Bejerman (Brazil / Canada / Argentina / Spain, 1974), journalist, scholar and cultural manager specializing in Latin American matters, will host this talk. Bejerman is a programming consultant for prestigious literary events, including Blue Metropolis, the Montreal International Literary Festival.
Finally, on October 24th at 5:00 p.m., an interesting encounter between writers Manuel Vilas and Dany Lafèrriere will take place within the framework of the handover ceremony between Canada and Spain, which can be followed on https://spainfrankfurt2022.com/es/canal-francfort/
Dany Laferrière or Windsor Kléber Laferrière (Port-au-Prince, 1953) is a prolific Haiti born writer, intelectual and screenwriter. He now lives between Montreal and Paris. His creative path, recognized worldwide, has granted him the election to take seat 2 -the Montesquieu seat- of the Académie française. Laferrière works, translated into dozens of languages, explore love and personal relationships with sensitivity and intelligence, in an approachable way and furthermore reflecting on great issues like exile, war, racism, but also the “dolce vita”. His literary work has been aknowledged with several awards, among others the Médicis Prize for his novel L’énigme du retour.
Manuel Vilas (Barbastro, 1962) is one of the leading Spanish poets and narrators of his generation. In 2018 he published his novel Ordesa (Alfaguara), which has been translated into numerous languages. His poetry books feature titles such as Calor (2008) and El hundimiento (2015). He is the author of the novels España (2008), Aire nuestro (2009), Los inmortales (2012), and El luminoso regalo (2013). In October 2019 Manuel Vilas was a finalist of the Planeta Prize and the Jean Monnet Prize for European literature with his novel Alegría (Planeta). Planeta has just published his novel Los besos.