In recognition of Taiwan’s growing role as a literary and creative hub, the European Union will join the Taipei International Book Exhibition for the first time in 2014.
Although the event's theme countries this year are Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand, the European Union pavilion will add to the book fair’s diversity by sharing the culture and literature of nearly a dozen European nations.
Given the size and importance of the Taipei International Book Exhibition, where publishers and authors meet for official and unofficial exchanges, "we thought it was important to be present," stated Frederic Laplanche, head of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taipei.
Although some E.U. nations such as France have been a loyal participant of the Taipei book fair for many years, Laplanche said he believes that setting up a joint pavilion "will help us bring more member states into the fair in the years to come."
For the upcoming event in February, the first-time participants include the European nations of Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain.
One of the E.U. pavilion's highlights will be a display featuring the 12 winners of the 2013 European Union Prize For Literature, in which new writers from countries such as Macedonia, Cyprus and Bosnia will be introduced to the Taiwanese public.
Since there are currently no Chinese translations of these books, Laplanche said another goal of the pavilion is to help European publishers find Taiwanese partners for translation and publication.
Meanwhile, a separate French pavilion will be marked with visits from illustrator Beatrice Vellion on Feb. 7, and author Gilles Legardinier and pastry chef Christophe Felder on Feb. 9.
The annual exhibition will take place from Feb. 5 through 10 at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall.
In addition to showcasing publications from around the world, the exhibition will also feature forums on topics including international publishing, literature copyrights, children's books, book design, and digital archives.