The 2013 Pisa Book Festival

A column article by: Linda Lercari

It ended Sunday, November 17, 2013: the eleventh edition of the prestigious Pisa Book Festival, which this year saw a marked increase the number of visitors. 

Picture by by Furio Detti [Creative Commons, (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)]

The halls were packed and the large group of guests were masterfully managed by an organization that every year is more and more efficient and attentive to the needs of both readers and exhibitors. A special mention goes to the friendly staff who knew how to handle moments of large crowds and great stress.

Picture by by Furio Detti [Creative Commons, (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)]

Many notable names attented the Book Fair, like Maurizio De Giovanni, who chose Pisa again to present the national premiere of his new book Buio. Per i bastardi di Pizzofalcone (published by Einaudi), which was already available at the Festival, though its official release will be November 26. Or Paola Presciuttini, with Trotula (Odoya pub.): a historical novel on the life of the first woman gynecologist, who wrote the the first treatise on gynecology and obstetrics bringing to the attention of medical science the female physiological issues against prejudice of her times.

Each year the festival hosts a foreign country and this year the protagonist is Germany with numerous events such as SUMMER 1980. WEST BERLIN, the story of Ronald M. Schwernikau. The German writer Matthias Frings presented his book L'ultimo comunista (Voland Pub.). Another interesting event was the contrast between Italian Hard-Boiled and German Hard-Boiled fiction: Marco Malvaldi met Karl Olsberg, with preview presentations of the volumes Argento Vivo (Sellers) and Il sistema (BookSalad).
But when it comes to hard-boiled fiction, we have to mention another interesting event: the presentation of DETECTIVE HANSHICHI The Mysteries of the city of Edo (Obarrao) translated for the first time into Italian. Those are tales of Japanese Okamoto Kido (1872 - 1939) the founder of the detective genre in Japan. The decisive intervention of Mrs. Ikuku Sagiyama, professor of Japanese language and literature at the University of Florence, who explained the peculiarities of Japan with a suitable support of historical photos.

Pisa Book Festival is about books in their diversity, so I don't want to forget to mention the graphic novel, a medium that, in recent years, has had a growing demand and that brings the world of comics to that of books in a harmonious and appealing feel.

There are graphic novel texts of social protest like that of L. Biffi R. A. Lupoli Innocenti, Libero Grassi, Cara Mafia ti sfido or L. Willows L. Ferrara, Antonio Caponnetto, non รจ finito tutto, both published by RoundRobin and of course in the form of graphic novel.

The publisher Hop has decided to publish the noted cartoonist and blogger Yatuu with comics about the crisis of the labor market with On stage; another completely different kind of graphic novel is the completely different game-book by Emma Campbell Webster and Penelope Bagieu Lost in Austen where you can create your own adventure with the characters of the famous English writer. 


A festival, therefore, full of events and insights. Debates, conferences, presentations of new projects for the publishing industry and, most importantly, the staunch effort to stimulate continuously new readers of all ages.

Picture by by Furio Detti [Creative Commons, (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)]

Pisa was an unmissable event that certainly, year after year, is expected to grow.


Picture by by Furio Detti [Creative Commons, (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)]

Community Discussion