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The 2022 Malta Book Festival – 23rd-27th November
The 38th edition of the Malta Book Festival will be held from Wednesday, the 23rd of November until Sunday, 27th November, in association with the National Book Council of Malta as well as the Malta Ministry of Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation.
This festival hosts both local and international authors and publishers and it is expected that there will be 40,000 visitors and over 40 exhibitors.
Whom is this festival for?
The festival is suited to audiences of all ages but is especially popular with schoolchildren and families. Not to mention, a number of shows are being put up to cater for the whole family and will take place in Maltese and English. School visits will be organised by ZIguZajg, a Maltese arts festival catered towards children and young adults.
This year, there will be awards shows as well, namely the annual National Book Prize, which is the most prestigious literary award given to anyone in the Maltese book industry. Categories and criteria include Novels, Short Stories, Poetry, and Drama written in Maltese and English, as well as literary non-fiction, translation, general and biological and historiographic research. It also consists of works for children, or the Terramaxka Prize. This year’s nominees have been shortlisted.
Another awards-giving ceremony will include the Doreen Micallef National Poetry contest whose winners will be announced and presented with prize money during the festival.
There will also be an exhibition entitled From Illustration to Book, which combines visual arts and literature. This is a joint exhibition by the National Book Council and Malta Arts Council, which showcases talent by Malta’s graphic designers and illustrators who have worked in the publishing industry. The aims of this exhibition are to evoke creativity as well as allow more accessibility to books, publishing for a multitude of audiences and for international publishers to take inspiration.
Another key point, the Inspire Malta Foundation will provide a quiet space at the festival, an NGO committed to helping people with disabilities, which will cater for individuals on the autism spectrum as well as those who suffer from emotional dysregulation.
Irish author John Boyne and Maltese-American cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco – this year’s headliners
Who will exhibit this year?
This year, a record 49 exhibitors will participate in the festival. Unquestionably, the majority includes Maltese publishers and booksellers; however, these also include student organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations or NGOs, and public agencies which have worked with the book industry.
International authors will include award-winning author John Boyne, who, without doubt will be the star of this year’s edition. The Irish novelist is chiefly known for his bestseller ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, which has been adapted for film, theatre, opera, and ballet. In addition, he has also written other novels for adults and children, including ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ and ‘A Ladder to the Sky’. Not to mention, these have also been published in more than fifty languages. Boyne will meet his younger readers in the morning of Friday, 25th November, and on the same day, will be interviewed by lecturer and author Leanne Ellul. A book signing will follow.
Another international guest is Joe Sacco, an American comic book artist as well as journalist with Maltese heritage. To point out, Sacco was born in Malta, raised in Australia, and graduated from a degree in journalism in the United States, where he currently resides. His works are undeniably significant – in fact, he has been renowned for creating a unique form of journalism, which he portrays as war reportage comics. The 62-year-old has visited several war zones and crisis areas, namely Palestine, Gaza, and Goražde in Bosnia & Herzegovina, all whose experiences have been turned into widely acclaimed graphic novels. He has undoubtedly written about Malta, through his mother’s perspective during the Second World War and as an immigrant. These experiences are evidently present in his short-form collections, entitled Notes from a Defeatist (2003) and Journalism (2018).
At the festival, Sacco will be interviewed on Thursday, the 24th of November by MaltaToday environmental reporter James Debono. He will also be present at the panel discussion ‘What’s an image worth: Forms of visual storytelling’ on Saturday, the 26th of November, together with photographer and journalist Joanna Demarco and award-winning creative director and illustrator Gattaldo.
How can I purchase tickets?
Once event details are released, you will be required to pre-register.
Parking will also be available on site.
Focus on Fluency
- Book launches – an event where the author of a particular book or their public relations (PR) team invites a group of people to celebrate the release of a new book
- Emotional dysregulation – a poor ability to manage emotional responses or to keep them within an acceptable range of typical emotional reactions
- A record + number– better than anything else or to achieve something no previous edition has achieved
- Exhibitors – a person who displays items of art or others in an exhibition
- Unquestionably – in a way that cannot be doubted
- Novelist – a writer of novels, which are fictitious narratives representing character and action with some degree of realism
- Reportage – the reporting of news by broadcasting media and the press
- Widely acclaimed – praised in an enthusiastic manner
- Defeatist – a person who expects to receive failure.
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