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Frankfurt Book Fair calls off award ceremony for Palestinian author

Published : 13 Oct 2023, 22:20

  DF News Desk
Guests visit a stand after the opening press conference of the Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany, on Oct. 19, 2021. File Photo: Xinhua.

The Palestinian author Adania Shibli will not be honoured at the Frankfurt Book Fair as planned, according to dpa information.

The author was supposed to be awarded the LiBeratur Award by the Litprom association, which recognizes works by female authors from the Global South, on October 20. The award honours her book "Eine Nebensache" ("A Minor Issue"), reported dpa.

Her novel had been highly praised by critics, but also criticized by some for its use of alleged anti-Semitic clichés.

The director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos, said: "The winner is selected by an independent jury. Litprom is the implementing organizer and fully responsible for the content of the award ceremony. In light of the terror attack on Israel, Litprom is looking for a suitable setting for the event at a time after the book fair."

"We strongly condemn the barbaric terror of Hamas against Israel," he added, while underlining that the fair stands "alongside Israel with full solidarity."

Boos said that the fair plans to "make Jewish and Israeli voices particularly visible at the Book Fair."

For example, the author and activist Lizzie Doron, who lives in Tel Aviv and Berlin, will talk about the current events in Israel at the literature gala on Saturday.

"We also spontaneously decided to create additional stage moments for Israeli voices," Boos announced, including an event titled "Out of Concern for Israel" at the Frankfurt Pavilion.

However, due to the travel restrictions, some events had to be cancelled, including two concerts featuring Israeli singers.