Each year, a different country or region is selected as a ‘Market Focus’ for the London Book Fair. As well as inviting publishers and businesses based or specialising in that region, the London Book Fair works with the British Council to showcase prominent writers from that country. In previous years, some of these writers have appeared at the English PEN Literary Cafe.
This year, the market focus is China. In the past few days, the British Council Cultural Programme has been criticised for inviting only ‘state-approved’ writers to participate in their events programme. They issued a statement in response.
On Wednesday our Events Manager Sarah Hesketh was interviewed by the BBC World Service Newshour programme about the issue. You can listen to the recording below where she discusses free speech, cultural exchange, and our China Inside Out Festival on 29th March.