Marking Taiwan's seventh appearance at the world's largest book fair for Spanish readers, the Taiwan Pavilion at the 33rd Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) will promote Taiwanese titles, picture books, and graphic novels under the banner "Taiwan: Island of Amazing Stories" from Nov. 30 to Dec. 8. Authors Lai Ma (賴馬) and Sean Chuang (小莊) will also be in attendance.
Lai Ma is a best-selling children's book author and father of three who refers to himself as "full-time dad, part-time author." He published his first book, "I'm Breathing Fire! (我變成一隻噴火龍了！)" at the age of 27 to wide acclaim, and has since released a total of 14 titles in his two-decade career. He and his wife run a picture book gallery in Taitung and regularly stages events to inspire children to read and use their imagination.
Chuang is a graphic novelist who has over 20 years of experience as an advertising director. Compared to the astonishing 400 commercials that he has filmed, Chuang has only published four titles, including "A Filmmaker's Notes (廣告人手記)" and "’80s Diary in Taiwan (80年代事件簿)." His unique style of storytelling is revealed in graphic memoirs written with the rhythm of prose.
Located at ii13 in the international zone, the 54-meter Taiwan Pavilion will be situated near the national pavilions of South Korea and France, as well as publisher booths from Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Over the past years, the vivid designs of the Taiwan Pavilion at FIL have impressed many international visitors, having even received an award for best pavilion design last year. This year, a bright yellow hue has been chosen for the pavilion containing marvelous stories from Taiwan.
To showcase a selection of 418 original titles from 55 publishing houses, the pavilion will be divided into eight sections: "Recommended Illustrators," "Taiwan: Island of Amazing Stories," "Award-Winning Books," "New Titles: Children’s Books," "New Titles: Comics & Graphic Novels," "Books from Taiwan," "Digital Publications," and a special area for Taiwanese exhibitors including Acme, CommonWealth, Cosmos, HaReading, Linking, Locus, and Papa Publishing.
Professional staff members, representatives from publishing houses, and rights managers will be present to take questions, conduct international exchanges, and look for new business opportunities. Catalogues will be available in both English and Spanish.
A cocktail party will be held at the Taiwan Pavilion on Dec. 2. Lai Ma and Chuang will also hold book-signing sessions within the pavilion and reader's events at the FIL salons. In addition, Lai Ma will join the FILustra round table on Dec. 2 to talk about his interpretation of the animal world as an illustrator, while Chuang will lead a master class on Dec. 5 for college students from Mexico who are arts or illustration majors.