The literary event in Spanish returns to Los Angeles after an absence of four years, now turned into a festival

LéaLA, the ambitious book fair organized by the University of Guadalajara Foundation in the United States since 2011, returns to the city in a new version. Now it is a three-day literary festival, which includes the participation of some of the most influential Mexican authors.

“In the previous four editions it was a fair,” said Marisol Schulz Manaut, general director of LéaLA, whose past editions were in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. “Now the challenge is to return in a limited way […] as a celebration of Spanish for many of the circumstances that our countrymen are experiencing in the United States. ”

That means that the new version of LéaLA does not include space for publishing houses, although there will be books for sale by the Carlos Fuentes bookstore at Guadalajara University.

The change in the format of the event is due to financial reasons, despite the fact that in 2015 the fair closed with a record number of visitors. However, economic uncertainty in Mexico has not allowed planning the festival as often as the organizers had contemplated.

In 2015 alone, the festival had more than 200 activities, 53 book presentations, talks, tributes, book signings and readings. Some 230 writers and academics participated.

In its new headquarters, in the LA Plaza de la Cultura y Artes, from Friday to Sunday, there will be a main stage and most Mexican authors will participate, although there are also some pens from Spain, Portugal and the United States.

"But that doesn't take away the quality or importance of guest writers," said Schulz.

Among the authors who will attend are Lydia Cacho, Diego Enrique Osorno, Mario Bellatin, Carmen Boullosa and Tanya Huntington. There will also be Osiris, Gómez, Leo Peña, Max Parra, Sergio Aragonés, Sara Poot and Mónica Lavín. Some of the activities will be literary dialogue tables, poetry reading, talks and children's workshops.

This version does not include tributes, special guests and there is no prize, as with the Guadalajara International Book Fair, the popular festival of letters that takes place every year in the capital of Jalisco – considered the most important Spanish fair in the world -, and in which LéaLA was inspired.

However, the finger of the line has not been removed and there are still plans to turn this event into an annual fair, as it was initially conceived. It will all be a matter of looking for allies, rethinking the format and looking for more popular physical spaces, Schulz said.

In detail

That: Read it

When: friday to sunday

Where: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., Los Angeles

How: free entrance; reports


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