Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro authorized the inclusion of Palestinian writer Adania Shibli among the authors who will be honored at the 19th International Book Fair of Venezuela (FILVEN 2023), which will be held between November 9 and 19 in Caracas. Shibli was to receive an award at the Frankfurt Book Fair for the book A Minor Detail, which tells the true story of the rape and murder of a girl carried out by Israeli soldiers in 1949.
The information was released by the Minister for Culture, Ernesto Villegas, through his social media accounts. In the post, Villegas explained that “the Palestinian literary creator was recognized with an award at the Frankfurt Book Fair, but at the last minute, the award of such recognition was canceled for political reasons.”
El presidente @NicolasMaduro ha autorizado la inclusión de la escritora palestina Adanía Shibl entre las homenajeadas de la XIX Feria Internacional del Libro de Venezuela #Filven2023, convocada en #Caracas entre el 9 y el 19NOV. La creadora literaria se hizo… pic.twitter.com/gr16lni8Ba
— Ernesto Villegas Poljak (@VillegasPoljak) October 18, 2023
According to La Vanguardia news outlet, the Litprom association, which awards the LiBeraturpreis, announced last Friday, October 13, that the Palestinian author who won the prize was not going to receive it as originally planned.
The work was also nominated for the Man Booker, the National Book Award, and the International Booker Prize. In Spanish, it is published by the Hoja de Lata publishing house, and has been translated to English, French, Italian, Hebrew, and Korean.
The Frankfurt fair is “completely supportive of Israel,” its director, Jürgen Boos, said a few days ago in a statement. The program was later reorganized to give predominant attention to pro-Israel voices.
More than 600 people from the cultural sector signed an open letter of protest, including Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk and Abdulrazak Gurnah and Canadian writer Naomi Klein, who denounce that the organizers “closed the space to a Palestinian voice.” Several Arab publishing groups have announced that they will boycott the fair, and Malaysia announced that it is withdrawing its presence.
The signatories asked for rectification and recalled that “the Frankfurt Book Fair has the responsibility of creating spaces for Palestinian writers to share their thoughts, feelings, and reflections on literature in these terrible and cruel times, without canceling them.”
In Venezuela, FILVEN 2023 will pay tribute to Armando Carías, writer and children’s theater artist and, posthumously, to the centenarian writers Carmen Delia Bencomo and Domingo Alberto Rangel. FILVEN 2023 will honor the National Library for its 190th anniversary and the Vadell Brothers Publishing House for its 50 years of activity, added minister Villegas in his post.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune