Belgian writers and illustrators participating in the 2013 Taipei International Book Exhibition yesterday said they were ready to immerse themselves in Taiwan and its culture.
Children’s book illustrator and author Kitty Crowther said she was very excited about the show, which opens today, and looked forward to interacting with local readers and visitors on her first visit to Taiwan.
“It’s like throwing a stone in the water, and you don’t know how it expands,” said Crowther, who won the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council — the biggest prize in children’s literature.
Planning to tell stories to audiences at the fair, Crowther said she loved learning about other cultures and finding out how people of different cultures think and work.
Writer Carl Norac, who is also making his first visit, said he would write a book about Taipei during his eight-day stay.
“I have an idea now, but I can’t tell you at the moment,” he said laughing, adding that he always writes a book when he travels.
All 90 of his books were written when he was on trips, Norac said, saying that one of his best-known works, Asha, was inspired by a visit to India.
As the theme country of this year’s fair, Belgium is hosting four major exhibitions: comic books and illustrations; architecture designs by Victor Horta; the origin of saxophones; and poems and original manuscripts by Maurice Careme.
Belgium’s most famous comic franchises — the Smurfs and the Adventures of Tintin — will also be highlighted, along with the works of 22 Belgian publishing companies.
Representatives from publishers in France, Australia, Turkey, Mexico, Peru, South Korea, Japan and the US will participate in the six-day fair.