International Book Fair celebrates Chilean literary heritage

The 30th edition of this yearly event welcomes 200 writers from around Chile and Latin America as well as musical acts, performances and exhibitions, for more than two weeks at the capital’s historic Mapocho Train Station.

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Santiago’s 30th International Book Fair will bring 17 days of presentations, professional events, readings, musical performances and lectures to city center’s historic Mapocho Train Station. In the course of the fair, running from October 29 to November 14, over 160 Chilean authors will appear for readings, book launches and panel discussions.  Another 30 writers from throughout the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds will also be present.

With its focus on Chilean literary heritage, this year’s fair will feature designated areas for each of the country’s 15 regions. In addition to launches and readings of new works from throughout the country, Chile’s distinct regions will contribute performances from orchestras, theater groups and dance ensembles. Short films and audio-visual art installations will also fill the exhibition space.

Performances at the fair will represent a broad cross-section of the Chilean musical world. Youth orchestras from Lautaro in the southern Araucanía district and from La Serena in the north as well Chile’s national Chamber Orchestra under Juan Pablo Izquierdo will present classical works, including works by Chilean composers.

On November 3, the beloved Los Jaivas, famous for incorporating indigenous musical instruments into their progressive rock sound, performed at the venue, while one of Chile’s most popular 20-person brass bands, Banda Conmocion, will play their traditional party-starting tunes at 8pm November 9.

The exhibition space in the Station will also host a display of historic photographs of Santiago through the 20th century. The collection, owned by electric company Chilectra consists of more than 20,000 photos documenting Santiago throughout the last hundred years.

A selection of these photos will be displayed at the book fair, focusing on historic landmarks around the city, including the Station itself. Built between 1904 and 1912 in honor of Chile’s hundredth anniversary, Mapocho Station was the primary train station serving destinations around Chile until its closing in 1987. In 1994, the space was reopened as a cultural center.

The fair is open Monday-Thursday from 2pm to 10pm, Friday from 12pm to 10pm and Saturday-Sunday from 11am to 10pm. Weekday entry fees are US$3 (CP$1500) for general admission, and US$2 (CP$1000) for students. General entry from Friday-Sunday costs US$4 (CP$2000) for general admission and US$3 (CP$1500) for students. Visit the official website for a schedule of events and other information.

This post is also available in Spanish