Serbia will be a special guest country at the Leipzig Book Fair in March 2011. It is expected that Serbian literature will receive considerable attention in this event that usually attracts more than 150,000 people over the course of four days. New literary works from Serbia, and their respective German translations, will be on display and presented to international publishers.
Although contemporary Serbian literature may not be so widely known, the region has long roots in producing high quality prose. Former Yugoslavia even had its Nobel Prize winner, Ivo Andrić. Moreover works by Meša Selimović, Miloš Crnjanski, Danilo Kiš and other great authors from the former Yugoslavia have been published in several foreign languages. Contemporary authors draw on this heritage and wish for their works to be well received in Europe and around the world.
There are about 4.500 books published annually in Serbia, out of which 3,000 are written by Serbian authors. Over the past three years, the Ministry of Culture has financed the translation of more than hundred works by domestic authors into foreign languages. Previously, some 10 to 12 works were translated annually.
Author Vladimir Pištalo, whom was the winner of the prestigious NIN literary award for Best Novel in Serbia in 2008 for his book Tesla, a Portrait among the Masks, told Southeast Europe: People and Culture that in his view, there are many contemporary Serbian authors who deserve the world’s attention. He is looking forward to the 2011 Leipzig Book Fair as an excellent opportunity to promote the country's literature internationally.