The 6th edition of the Monaco Book Fair (Salon du Livre de Monaco) took place on the 25th and 26th of March at the Méridien Beach Plaza Hotel in their sea-view Salon Atlantique.
This unique event, placed under the High Patronage of S.A.S. Prince Albert II, was created in 2012 by the association “Les Rencontres Littéraires Fabian Boisson” to promote the diverse aspects of literature to the public. It is an opportunity for visitors to meet with talented and accomplished writers as well as new names in the field, to inspire and share stories with one another. Passionate readers and writers come together in this jovial setting every year to pay tribute to the long lasting art form of writing.
The association that created the event (Les Rencontres Litteraires Fabian Boisson) is a Monaco based group that organises literary conferences throughout the year where admirable guests are invited to take part. The events are held all over the French region, the next one being in Cannes, and not only as they announced plans for a Salon du Livre in Moscow! They also set up literature competitions for the younger members of the Principality, in which students submit essays on pertinent subjects such as politics and societal issues to be judged and rewarded accordingly – a great initiative to pique their interest in writing.
The Book Fair lasts a couple of days; the first day is usually dedicated to a guest speaker, guests pay a small fee to attend a conference given by the selected guest, and the second day is completely free to any members of the public wanting to partake in the event. This year the fair invited prestigious guest speaker Jean-Louis Debré; a conservative French politician who was President of the National Assembly of France from 2002 to 2007, as well as President of the Constitutional Council from 2007 to 2016. Debré gave an original talk on the French Republic and also did a book-signing for “Dictionnaire Amoureux de la Republique” (Dictionary for Republic Lovers), a tribute to the men and women who promoted the republican idea in France over the past years, told through his family memories that made him understand and love the French Republic.
On the Sunday, the main day of the Book Fair, about 70 esteemed authors attended the event to welcome the literature loving public. Visitors were free to mill around the room and meet some of their favourite authors, exchanging ideas and getting their personal book copies signed. The books on show ranged from children books to books about music or travel, and ones about the history of the region and the Grimaldi family. Amongst the guest authors were many talented local writers, such as published nutritionist Jean-Michel Cohen, art-promoter Patrick Moy and journalist Gonzague Saint Bris but also writers of different nationalities, including four Italian authors from the Imperia province. Jean Maltese spoke openly about his path to becoming a published author, starting out as a TV journalist when he was younger, writing always being a strong passion of his, and Catherine De Montfort explained how her books tell stories of different cultures coexisting together, like in her book Lune Noire à l’Alhambra. The atmosphere was convivial, as the set-up made it easy to approach the writers – you are able to create a conversation with the guests, who usually want to know just as much about you as you want to know about them!
As well as the opportunity to meet the guests, the event also organized seven round table discussions with a few of the writers, giving the visitors a chance to really sit down with the authors and open up a debate on varying topics of the world of literature. The fair really presents an opportunity unlike any other for lovers of writing to meet like-minded individuals and get advice from those who’ve reached success in the field. The guests were able to talk about what inspires them in an intimate surrounding, sharing stories with the public about the experiences and people that marked their lives and which they integrate into their novels. Writer Charlotte Longépé for example talked about the inspiration behind her books; her great grandfather fought in the Balkan Wars and lived a very accomplished life, stories that she chose to commemorate through her writing.
The 6th edition of the Book Fair was met with great success, just like in previous years, welcoming about 700 visitors to the event over the weekend! So make sure to write it down in your day planner for next year.