well read - Frankfurt Book Fair ‘Fabulous Iceland’

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Each year in October, the great minds of literature meet and exchange ideas at the Frankfurt Book Fair; and from October 15 to 16 the book fair throws its doors open to the public.

Every year the book fair features a different ‘Guest of Honour’ country, and this year it is Iceland’s turn to shine. Under the title ‘Fabulous Iceland’, the guest country will present its culture and provide insights into its literary past and present. Around 30 Icelandic authors are expected to be in Frankfurt, including Andri Snær Magnason, and this year’s winner of the Nordic literature prize Gyrir Elíasson. As well as numerous author interviews, such as Craig Thompson discussing his new graphic novel, Habibi – a modern fairy tale from the Arabian Nights – book readings, and new publications, there is a diverse programme of events from the art, film, and music sectors. From the science world, CERN and Edition Lammerhuber will bring an LHC (Large Hadron Collider) control room from Geneva to Frankfurt, enabling visitors to watch leading researchers at work via a live stream, hear about the latest developments in particle physics, and ask questions that will be answered by the top people in this field.

Book reviews

Heaven and Hell
By Jón Kalman Stefánsson

Heaven and Hell is the first book in Icelandic author Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s trilogy. It is a simple story set a hundred years ago, of two fishermen who row their six-oared boat out into the vast Ísafjarardjúp – a sea that has remained almost unchanged for 120 million years – to cast their nets. As the Arctic wind bites into them fiercely, the line between life and death rests on a single garment: a leather coat. Like the author's earlier works, Heaven and Hell is about a lost world: an Icelandic reality which has gradually grown more remote.


LHC: Large Hadron Collider
By Peter Ginter, Franzobel, and Rolf-Dieter Heuer

Peter Ginter, one of the world’s best photographers, and author Franzobel together with Rolf-Dieter Heuer, General Director of CERN, look at the largest and most complex machine ever imagined by man: the ‘World Machine’. This book is both an insight into the wonderful world of particle physics, and a work of art; a photographic documentation of one of the most fascinating machines in the world and also a literary approach to the most exciting questions of our time.


Hansen’s Children
By Ognjen Spahiç

It is the end of the 1980s and Europe is about to change forever. In a corner of Romania two men await their fate as their reality literally begins to fall apart. This unique and sometimes shocking book gives us a view on a world we have surely never encountered before. Unafraid to tell the truth, Spahiç takes us on a journey through the revolution that will change not only our way of seeing this chapter of history, but also challenge our own sense of identity.


Inkstains on theEdge of Light
By Hind Shoufani

Shoufani writes of the Arab world through a cosmopolitan global view, and of the world through her Palestinian refugee identity and rootless lifestyle. She is influenced by the Civil Rights Movement poets, and current writers of the hip-hop generation, especially the influential poets from Brooklyn. Shoufani takes the reader on a tour from the Gulf of Dubai to the dust of Damascus. She laughs and sings and dances throughout the Middle East to her beloved New York, and back.


Dark Patches
By Azuka Thomson

Meet Ndidi, the high school teacher and adoring wife to Grant. Blissfully married for seven years, a single question brings Ndidi’s world crashing down. Omorose, Grant’s mother, is determined to leave no stone unturned in her quest for more grandchildren, even if it means spiritual intervention. Unable to stand up to his relatives, Grant marries Josephine – who is no ordinary second wife. Selfish, manipulative, and troublesome, she does not intend to share Grant with Ndidi, so she starts an evil campaign with horrifying consequences.


Frankfurt, Germany
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