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Posts Tagged ‘Venezuelan books’

Venezuela’s International Book Fair arrives in Caracas tomorrow. It has toured all 24 of the country’s states, and makes its final stop Friday in Parque Los Caobos.

The fourth annual event involves more than just the buying and selling of books — it also includes educational events and workshops on a wealth of topics, including science fiction writing, fantasy literature, and publishing alternative media. More than 400 writers and artists from 20 countries are participating, as well as 150 different publishers.

The International Book Fair celebrates the achievements of the many thousands of students and educators who helped make Venezuela an “illiteracy free territory” in 2003. Social programs in education have indeed increased the country’s demand for books.

The President of the National Book Center, Marisela Guevara, says the fair shows that Venezuela is becoming “a nation of readers.” Read more in Spanish here.

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A new and innovative children’s book from Venezuela has just come out in English and is delighting U.S. readers both young and old. It is called “The Black Book of Colors” (El libro negro de los colores).

The story, by authors Menena Cotin and Rosana Faria, offers a vibrant description of colors — for example, “red is sour like unripe strawberries and as sweet as watermelon.” Textured pictures and braille make the book thrillingly accessible to young people who are visually impaired.

The School Library Journal calls it “Fascinating, beautifully designed, and possessing broad child appeal, this book belongs on the shelves of every school or public library committed to promoting disability awareness and accessibility.” Want to know more? Check out a Washington Post review, see more pictures, or buy it on Amazon.

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At a glance, Latin American literature can seem dominated by magical realism, the genre synonymous with Gabriel García Márquez and his momentous novel, 100 Years of Solutide. Venezuela never had its major author of the Latin “boom” period, but that doesn’t mean the country lacks literary traditions worthy of export.

gonzalezOne of Venezuela’s many under-appreciated authors, Adriano González León (pictured here), passed away earlier this month. He was best known for his book, País Portátil (Portable Country), which was published in 1968 and made into a feature film in 1979.

The tale of one rural family, País Portatil narrates the political and economic crisis of the 1960s in Venezuela. The struggle of each generation to overcome obstacles and stand up for their rights is an underlying theme – no surprise, for González is known for railing against the dictatorship of General Marcos Pérez Jiménez.

País Portátil is the best-known work by Adriano González León, but he hated the thought that his long career would be defined by only that book. González also wrote Viejo (Old Man), a novel that came out in 1995 and made an impression on at least one reader; Gabriel García Márquez once commented that he wished he had written it.

Others have called González’s writing “a different way of looking at the world” by combining poetry and prose in a unique style. He also used memory as a literary device to “create a dialogue between the present and the past.”

Like Latin American writers of his generation, González had a cross-over career as a politician; he served as Cultural Attache to the Venezuelan Embassy in Spain during the 1990s.

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