Guadalajara and Los Angeles are two cities with a strong cultural connection: Many of the Mexican immigrants who’ve settled in Southern California have roots in Guadalajara and the surrounding state of Jalisco.
The literary ties between the two cities have grown stronger too. The Guadalajara Book Fair (la Feria Internacional del Libro, or FIL in Spanish) and the University of Guadalajara organize LéaLA, the L.A.-based gathering that’s the largest Spanish-language book fair in the United States. LéaLA (Read L.A., in Spanish) hopes to bring 100,000 readers to the Los Angeles Convention Center next month.
And this week LéaLA director Marisol Schulz takes over the reins at Guadalajara Book Fair, the largest Spanish-language book fair in the world and the second-largest book fair in the world after Frankfurt.
“I undertake this challenge completely aware of the responsibility it implies not only for literature, but for culture in our language, which has had in FIL Guadalajara a showcase of the energy of our literary, publishing and artistic production,” she said in a statement. “It is a source of pride for all Mexicans, and that makes my commitment even greater.”
Schulz has helped make LéaLA an ever-larger event. In 2012, the event was three times the size of the 2011 gathering, and this year the event will once again host more than 200 booths.
In addition to several celebrated Mexican authors, including Jorge Castañeda; Mexican novelists Beatriz Riva, Paco Ignacio Taibo and Benito Taibo, LéaLA 2013 will also honor the great Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes on the first anniversary of his death, with his widow Silvia Lemus expected to attend.
LéaLA will also commemorate the recent passing of the banda singer Jenni Rivera, who was killed in a plane crash in December, La Opinon reports. Publishers Weekly also notes that later this year, Simon & Schuster will release a Rivera autobiography, “Unbreakable” (she had been working on the book for several years before her death). Penguin will also publish a Rivera biography, written by Leila Cobo.
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