AT COSMOPROF WORLDWIDE BOLOGNA 2024, ALL THE NOVELTIES AND SERVICES FOR INTERNATIONAL STAKEHOLDERS31/10/2023
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BOLOGNA CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR: THE 2023 GRAND TOUR ARRIVES IN NEW YORK WITH A TRIBUTE TO ITALO CALVINO IN HIS CENTENARY YEAR
The exhibition Italian Excellence. Illustrations for Italo Calvino and the events at the Society of Illustrators and the Rizzoli Bookstore on November 11 and 13
The third edition of Bologna’s Grand Tour – with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF), BolognaBookPlus and the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids – arrives in New York. From 18 October to 31 December 2023. The exhibition Italian Excellence. Illustrations for Italo Calvino will be on display at the illustrious Society of Illustrators venue.
This New York institution, which over the years has been building a relationship with BCBF, will host the illustrations inspired by the literary production of the great 20 th Century Italian writer, the most translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death. His last book, Six Memos for the Next Millennium, published in 1988 after his sudden death in 1985, is a collection of six lectures that Calvino was supposed to hold at Harvard University.
He visited the US for the first time between 1959 and 1960, building a connection with the American world that would remain unbreakable: “something like falling in love”, as he wrote on many occasions. His huge affection for New York led him to write in one of his correspondences for the weekly ABC: “I love New York and love is blind. And dumb: I cannot counter the reasons of the haters with my own… Shall I have it written on my tombstone, under my name, New Yorker?.
His centenary gives Bologna Children’s Book Fair the occasion to celebrate his life and works in a country - the United States - that reciprocated and deeply admired his art.
A programme of events will also take place at the Society of Illustrators and the Rizzoli Bookstore, providing opportunities for the Fair to meet with both new publishers and professionals, and also a broader public.
The programme includes: on 11 November a double event at the Rizzoli Bookstore. From 6 pm to 7 pm, the US publishers Claudia Zoe Bedrick (Enchanted Lion Books) and Angus Yuen-Killick (Red Comet Press) will talk about the success of Italian illustration in US publishing. From 7 pm to 8 pm, Italian illustrators Andrea Antinori and Irene Rinaldi will lead a conversation with Grazia Gotti about illustrating Italo Calvino.
On 13 November from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm the Society of Illustrators will host the Italian Excellence: Illustrations for Italo Calvino Panel Discussion: Steven Guarnaccia will chair the discussion featuring Grazia Gotti, curator of the exhibition, Maria Russo, editorial director of Astra Publishing House’s Minerva imprint and former children’s book editor of the New York Times and illustrators Irene Rinaldi and Andrea Antinori about the exhibition and the challenges of illustrating classic literature.
The exhibition Italian Excellence. Illustrations for Italo Calvino provides a valuable opportunity for both children and adult readers to engage with the masterful writing of Italo Calvino, marking the centenary of the birth of one of them greats of 20 th century literature and one of Italy’s most popular and well-known authors. Calvino became one of the world’s greatest storytellers, successfully interweaving complicated tales of romance, family, the horrors of war, conflicts of the modern world, politics, and the importance and love of reading. The 61 artworks featured in this exhibition provide visitors with a historical and geographical overview of Calvino’s words. On display are pieces from 31 Italian and foreign artists whose interpretations of Calvino’s texts have already been published, alongside the illustrations of 30 contemporary artists selected by a jury from entries submitted to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Contest held for the occasion.
Synonymous with the best in international illustrations, the Italian Excellence project – now in its fourth edition – is partnered by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Emilia-Romagna regional administration, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and the Giannino Stoppani Cooperative/Accademia Drosselmeier, working together to promote children’s publishing, a sector that is vital for the education of future generations. This
was exactly Calvino’s thought when, in his first novel The Path to the Spiders’ Nests, he remarks that when young, every new book read is like a new eye that opens and changes what other eyes, or “book-eyes”, have seen before.
Integral parts of the Grand Tour, together with BCBF, are BolognaBookPlus, the general trade fair arm, of BCBF aimed at general publishing and produced in collaboration with the Association of Italian Publishers (AIE), and Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids, the leading Italian and European licensing event specifically for brands for children, teens and young adults. Bringing three events together under the umbrella of BolognaFiere represents an opportunity to promote Italian publishing excellence around the world, made possible also thanks to the support of ITA – the Italian Trade Agency and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI).