By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
FRANKFURT, Germany — For an author, a visit to the annual Frankfurt Book Fair can be a humbling experience. When you enter the massive fairgrounds, where over 7,000 exhibitors (among them your own publishers) from one hundred countries have come to put on proud display their latest productions — about 400,000 (!) new titles — it tends to put things into proportion, so to speak, and you ask yourself what, if any, place your own modest achievements might find in this immense literary universe. If you happen to be working on a new book, the challenge is overwhelming.
But that is a highly personal viewpoint and, as such, of limited value. In broader terms, for writers and readers alike, Frankfurt, the biggest and undeniably most important book fair in the world, is the stage on which burning political issues are thrashed out in dozens of appearances by authors discussing their new releases.
This year was no exception. The target of critical debate was writers’ freedom — or lack thereof — in Turkey.
Writers Speak Out from Exile and Jail