Israel to be honored at Mexico book fair

(JTA) — Israel will be the country of honor at the 27th Guadalajara International Book Fair, the largest in the Spanish-speaking world.

Israeli President Shimon Peres will inaugurate the Israel pavilion at the book fair in Mexico, considered the most important in the Spanish-speaking world, on Saturday. He is traveling with a delegation of 180 Israeli artists, entrepreneurs and academics, and also has a meeting scheduled with Mexican telecom businessman Carlos Slim Helu. Peres was scheduled to arrive Wednesday and meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The fair, which is the world’s second-largest and runs through Dec. 7, provides an opportunity for Hebrew literature to be translated to the growing Spanish-speaking book market. Last year, 1,928 publishing houses participated in the fair, with more than 700,000 attendees, 256 library agents, and 500 media outlets from around the world.

Several Israeli writers will be participating in the Mexican event, including A.B. Yehoshua, Gila Almagor, David Grossman and Zeruya Shalev. The organizer of the fair estimates that after the event 20 new titles will be translated from Hebrew into Spanish.

Ada Yonath and Dan Shechtman, both winners of the Noble Prize in chemistry, will head the team of scientists and thinkers coming to the event.

The Israeli stand at the book fair was designed by the Jewish-Mexican engineer Enrique Norten, who lives in New York.

Israeli music will be a part of the event, too. Ivri Lider of The Young Professionals, Erez Aizen and Amit Duvdevani of the Infected Mushrooms, and the Mexican-Jewish group Anajnu Ve Atem will be part of the cultural program.

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