PARIS – The Paris Book Fair, the largest in France, opened Friday at an expo center in the capital with a variety of programs featuring 20 authors from Japan, including Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe.
The book fair, known locally as Salon du livre de Paris, is marking its 32nd year. Japan was selected as this year’s special guest country. Because the fair is being held around the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, many of the symposiums and other programs are based on themes related to the natural disasters and nuclear crisis.
It is the second time Japan has been a special guest country. The first time was in 1997. Organizers expect about 200,000 visitors during the event’s run through Monday.
Other than Oe, Japanese novelists participating include Kaori Ekuni, Mitsuyo Kakuta, Masahiko Shimada and Risa Wataya. Other noted attendants include journalist Satoshi Kamata, children’s books author Taro Gomi, haiku poet Madoka Mayuzumi and manga artist Moto Hagio.
A ceremony was held Thursday to open a Japan pavilion, where French versions of books by writers such as Oe and Haruki Murakami were stacked together with their Japanese originals.
Oe was scheduled to attend an open panel discussion on disasters with novelist Yoko Tawada on Friday, and to hold a talk with a French researcher of his literary works, Philip Forest, on Saturday.