From Japanese heritage to Sudanese and Turkish stories of ‘Crime&Punishment’ at St. Martin Book Fair 2014

The St. Martin Book Fair, with its classic literary teaser theme of “Crime&Punishment,” is geared for its 12th annual edition on 5 to 7 June 2014, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

Francis Bok, author of Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America.

Francis Bok, author of Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America.

Turkey, South Sudan, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, are some of the places that writers will be coming from; meeting with St. Martin people and our visitors; exchanging exciting books; visiting schools; conducting free workshops; and giving live multilingual literary readings,” said Sample.

Garrett Hongo, the much in-demand US poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist, will be here. Professor Hongo’s Japanese and Hawaiian heritages make up only part of what we’ll experience from him and his books on his first Caribbean trip,” said Shujah Reiph, book fair coordinator and Conscious Lyrics (CLF) president.

Garrett Hongo, distinguished professor and award-winning author of Coral Road.

Garrett Hongo, distinguished professor and award-winning author of Coral Road.

Francis Bok, from South Sudan is coming with his book, Escape from Slavery. In his autobiography this dignified gentleman tells about how he was kidnapped as a child, on the way to the food market for his mother, and forced into slavery for ten years. Today he is a leading abolitionist against slavery and ‘child soldier’ kidnappings,” said Reiph following Saturday’s Book Fair Committee meeting.

Ece Temelkuran, an exciting novelist of 12 books is heading our way. She’s one of Turkey’s ‘most read political columnists.’ Her columns appear in international media such as The Guardian and Le Monde Diplomatique. Temelkuran, who delivered the 4th Freedom Lecture in Amsterdam, has seen the blood on the ground from the political murder of a fellow journalist and has been fired from the Haberturk newspaper for reporting on what this brave writer calls ‘the prime minister’s war on journalists, and … on the rights of the Kurdish people‘,” said Reiph.

The St. Martin Book Fair is organized by CLF and HNP in collaboration with its strategic partner the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and with the University of St. Martin (USM).

Ece Temelkuran, author of Women Who Blow on Knots, an Arab Spring novel, which is being made into a movie.

Ece Temelkuran, author of Women Who Blow on Knots, an Arab Spring novel, which is being made into a movie.

Over the next few weeks, look out for the names of more heavyweight authors and upcoming writers heading for the St. Martin Book Fair, ‘A book fair for the entire family’,” said Reiph.

Talking about family, with the second carnival season just over, rest up the kiddies because “On Saturday, June 7, which is the main book fair day at USM, the annual Children’s Room will fit the festival’s theme as well. The Children’s Room organizer plans to ask parents to have each child come dressed as the child’s favorite super hero or heroine,” said Reiph.

We’re also encouraging contributors and patrons of the nation’s arts to join us in building up the literary festival on the Friendly Island. In describing the exciting sprouting of book fairs in the Caribbean region, Caribbean Beat magazine recently wrote that, ‘the St. Martin Book Fair is international and multilingual to the core.Over 16 book fairs are held in the region, and most of them are less than 10 years old,” said Sample.

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