"We greatly appreciate the work of the British Council and all our partners in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for bringing together such a diverse and interesting group of authors."
Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair.
The Baltic Countries Market Focus Cultural Programme will be a central feature of The London Book Fair 2018, which takes place from 10–12 April. The British Council, in partnership with the London Book Fair, the Estonian Literature Centre, Writers’ and Translators’ House, Latvia and the Lithuanian Culture Institute, will all work together on the programme as well as organising events in both the UK and each of the three Baltic countries throughout the year.
This year’s author delegation to the London Book Fair brings twelve prominent and engaging writers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, representing the very best of contemporary literature. The London Book Fair Cultural Programme will give a rare opportunity to meet and hear from Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian writers, who will be in discussion with counterpart UK authors in front of an international literary audience.
The delegation includes:
- Writer and columnist Mihkel Mutt, one of the most provocative Estonian authors. He has published close to 40 books in genres as diverse as novels, memoirs and children’s books.
- Nora Ikstena, one of the most influential prose writers and essayists in Latvia. Her book Soviet Milk comes out in the UK in March 2018 with Peirene Press.
- Writer and art historian Kristina Sabaliauskaitė, the most widely read contemporary Lithuanian author. Her Silva Rerum saga is considered to be the most important Lithuanian literary event of the last decade.
The delegation will be completed by Maarja Kangro, Andrei Ivanov and Rein Raud from Estonia; Kārlis Vērdiņš, Luīze Pastore and Inga Ābele from Latvia; Tomas Venclova, Undinė Radzevičiūtė and Alvydas Šlepikas from Lithuania. Together they represent a wide variety of literary genres, including: poetry, children's literature, playwriting, reportage and prose.
The Cultural Programme will also include events at the British Library and the National Poetry Library where readers can meet writers and take part in discussions.
Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair said: “It is a privilege to welcome such a talented group of authors to LBF 2018 from the Market Focus Baltic Countries. We greatly appreciate the work of the British Council and all our partners in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for bringing together such a diverse and interesting group of authors, representing children’s literature and poetry to history and unputdownable novels. We know the programme will be inspiring and generate interest in literature and writing from the Baltics for years to come.”
Indrek Saar, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Estonia said: “Books and stories expand our consciousness and our world. They can entertain and excite us. Estonian identity is strongly rooted in language and culture. I am proud to say that today, Estonian literature is as varied and dynamic as ever. The cornerstone of a vivid literary life are, of course, the writers. Also, we are most grateful to the brilliant translators who mediate our written word and thought to other cultures, other readers – who can make a foreign culture more understandable, come to life and to be loved. We are really happy that in 2018, when Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are celebrating centenaries of our independent statehoods, our rich and multifaceted literature will be in the focus at the London Book Fair.”