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Taipei book fair's Italian pavilion spotlights writer Italo Calvino

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CNA photo. Jan. 31, 2023

Taipei, Feb. 1 (CNA) The Italian pavilion at this year's Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) is hosting a series of lectures and offering up Mandarin Chinese translations of 15 books by author Italo Calvino to mark the centenary of his birth.

In a press release, the Italian Economic, Trade and Cultural Promotion Office said it had organized a space at the TIBE for the first time this year in collaboration with the Bologna Children's Book Fair, which frequently hosts Taiwanese illustrators.

According to the office, this year's pavilion will contain sections devoted to Italian comic book writers, wordless illustration books, and an exhibition of works by young Italian children's book illustrators.

It will also mark the centenary of the birth of Italo Calvino -- the author of the 20th century classic novels "Invisible Cities" and "If on a Winter's Night a Traveler" -- with a collection of 15 of his books translated into Mandarin Chinese, the statement said.

In terms of events, the office said it had arranged a lecture on Calvino on Wednesday by Ni An-yue (倪安宇), the Taiwanese translator of multiple books by Calvino and other contemporary Italian authors.

There will also be a lecture on Friday by Taiwan-based comparative theology scholar Umberto Bresciani titled "The Debate over Science and Metaphysics (1923-2023)," as well as a talk on Saturday on "the Italian Literary Genius" by writer Beatrice Peini Hsieh (謝佩霓), the office said.

Meanwhile, the Belgian Office in Taipei said it had invited 11 publishers to take part in its exhibition at the Taipei book fair, which will focus mainly on comics and children's books.

Belgian author and illustrator Marine Schneider, whose "Hekla & Laki" was named the best children's book of 2022 at the Montreuil Children's Book Fair, will also give a talk at the exhibition, according to the office.

The 2023 TIBE is being held at the Taipei World Trade Center from Jan. 31 to Aug. 5, with the participation of over 470 overseas publishers from 32 nations.

A single-day ticket for the book fair is NT$100 (US$3.34), but it is free of charge for students under the age of 18, and foreign nationals who show their passports or residence permits at the entrance.

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