MINSK BOOK FAIR
Minsk Book Fair is an official event held annually in the Belarusian capital. Unlike book fairs in Frankfurt, Leipzig, Lviv or Vilnius, this fair is totally state-controlled. It is organized under the auspices of three ministries: Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information. Therefore, the Belarusian writers, known not to be loyal to the government, are unlikely to feature there. For example: Uladzimir Niakliaeŭ, a prominent writer and a 2010 presidential candidate saw his scheduled presentation at the fair cancelled in 2013. The novel Aŭtamat z Gaziroŭkaj i Siropam (Syrup Soda Automat), which he planned to present at the Fair, would later receive the Polish-Belarusian Jerzy Giedroyc Award.
A typical Minsk Book Fair is a mix of Oriental bazaar, featuring sellers of honey, socks or dried fruit (no, it is not an exaggeration: the vacant stands are rented to private vendors) and a traditional book forum, with state-owned Belarusian publishing houses and some foreign embassies exhibiting their printed titles. Still, it attracts plenty of book enthusiasts from all over the country who come here hoping to find items unavailable in high-street shops. Check Makbel’s website for more details about the fair and admission procedures.