The hordes of people in attendance at the fair on Sunday, February 17th, held at the impressive Cabaña Fortress at the mouth of the bay leading to La Habana del Este, predict that this year’s fair will attract the usual two and a half million visitors.
At the Salon Professional, Danielito García introduced Cubanabooks founder Sara E. Cooper, as well as Editorial Board member and prominent author Mirta Yáñez, who talked about the birth and trajectory of the press. A packed room of industry professionals, writers, and general readers, including visiting professor Sharon Foerster and her students from the United States, listened with fascination and then peppered the two with questions.
The press, dedicated to publishing literary works by Cuban women, has been in existence for less than three years and has released three single-authored collections of short stories. Cubans in the audience wanted to know about the reception of the books in the United States. Cooper was able to report the enthusiasm and interest university students and general readers alike have shown in response to all three of the releases to date, including Havana Is a Really Big City, by Yáñez, and the bilingual editions of Ophelias/Ofelias by Aida Bahr as well as Disconnect/Desencuentro by Nancy Alonso.
The event concluded with warm words of welcome and congratulations on behalf of the Cuban Instituto del Libro and a promise that Cubanabooks would return to the fair after the next round of books was published.