The fair Book World was held in Prague from May 16th till May 19th, 2013. On Thursday May 16th, the fair was officially opened by the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg and the Slovak Minister of Culture Marek Maďarič. The grand opening was attended by esteemed representatives of diplomacy, missions and distinguished institutes for culture and science at home and abroad. The fair was organized by the Association of Czech booksellers and publishers and Svět knihy s.r.o (Book World Ltd.) and took place under the auspices of the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic, Alena Hanáková, and the Mayor of the City of Prague, Bohuslav Svoboda. In total 339 exhibitors from 30 different countries participated in the fair. Slovakia, being the guest of honour, presented itself by a varied programme for children and adults, which included many discussion forums, stage readings, exhibitions or workshops. These were attended by prominent representatives of Slovak literature such as Silvester Lavrík, Ján Uličiansky, Daniel Hevier, Marek Vadas, Jozef Leikert, Milan Richter, Ladislav Ballek, Mila Haughová, Pavel Vilikovský, Jozef Banáš, Vladimír Balla, Jana Beňová, Jozef Karika, Veronika Šikulová, Juraj Šebesta, Anton Baláž, Pavol Rankov, Anton Hykisch, Ľubomír Feldek, Laco Kerata, Dušan Dušek, Monika Kompaníková, Peter Krištúfek, Ján Zambor, Dana Podracká and many more.
Jozef Banáš (1948)
Excerpt from the catalogue „Slovensko (po)čítajte s nami“
Slovak writer, diplomat and politician. His literary works include TV screenplays from as early as 1978 continuing with film scripts and theatre plays. However, his best known pieces are novels from recent times after the end of his political carrier: Idiots in Politics (2007), The Jubilation Zone (2008, Czech translation in 2009) Stop Dubček! (2009, Czech translation in 2011), Code 9 (2010, Czech translation in 2011), The Rat Season (2011), Last Infidelity (2012). He writes essays and political comments. Each of the books he has written rank among the best selling books in Slovakia. Thanks to the novel about Alexander Dubček he has become the best selling Slovak author in the Czech Republic. His novel The Jubilation Zone has been translated into German, Polish, Ukrainian and Hindi. At present he is writing his tenth book Code 1, in which he traces the past of Jesus´ stay in India. The novel should be published this autumn by the publishing house Ikar.
Czecho-Slovak PEN clubroom – Jozef Banáš
Saturday May 18th, 2013, 11.00 a.m. – 12.00 noon
Small room – right wing (balcony, left)
The small room of the Czech PEN club was filled completely; no seat remained empty. Besides Banáš´ fans from Prague, readers from Mladá Boleslav headed by Renáta Herčíková arrived, as well as supporters from Plzeň, Pardubice and Havlíčkův Brod. Markéta Hejkalová read her humorous and charming short story About a Train. She introduced three books written by Jozef Banáš and translated into Czech language – The Jubilation Zone, Code 9 and Stop Dubček! Jozef Banáš humorously retold some of the episodes from his books as well as from encounters with some Czech politicians including the former Czech President Václav Klaus, whom he met at the fair as well. Finally he played the guitar and sang the Slovak folk song Darmo ma mamička accompanied by many of the visitors singing with him.