For its 40th anniversary, the Brive Book Fair turns the page on Covid in style

For its 40th anniversary, the Brive Book Fair turns the page on Covid in style

The Brive demonstration celebrated this weekend, in a crowded and joyful atmosphere, this anniversary. With a record turnover at stake.

The 40e edition of the Brive Book Fair will remain as a bookmark in the chronicles of the Corrèze event. After two half-hearted fairs, weighed down by rampant epidemics and health restrictions, the event popular with all of Paris, but also all of Aquitaine and Occitanie, was in full swing this weekend, from November 4 to 6. Three days marked by attendance “exceptional”, saccording to its organizers.

A gauge quicker to measure the success of an edition, the fair has achieved more than 850,000 euros in turnover, announced Monday the City of Brive, organizer of this event where the books flow by whole columns. A peak which now measures the historic 819,000 euros earned in 2019. “The fair takes root!”, summarizes François David, jubilant. The commissioner and general delegate of the Brive Book Fair on Monday gives a more than positive assessment of the anniversary edition of this authors’ meeting.

“We worked a lot upstream with the pupils of the region who chose to invite Timothée de Fombelle, continues François David. We have also involved merchants from Brive. As for the fair itself, more than ever we wanted this great cultural moment to also be an opportunity to reflect. This was the subject of the exchange with Eric Fottorinodedicated to the “New Faces of War”, for example.”

The gratin of paper

Brigitte Giraud, last winner of the Goncourt Prize, and Simon Liberati, Renaudot Prize 2022, lent themselves – according to tradition – to the game of meetings and dedications with the public of Brive-la-Gaillarde, alongside some 300 other invited authors . The list makes you dizzy: Lola Lafon, Sylvain Tesson, Amélie Nothomb, Marc Levy, Joann Sfar, but also Olivia Ruiz, Thierry Frémaux and François Busnel, president of this edition of the fair, haunted the Halle Brassens, where also some early authors, such as Maria Larrea (The people of Bilbao are born where they want, ed. Grasset) and Guillaume Perilhou (They will kill your sons, ed. Observatory).

A bookstore phenomenon boosted by the culture pass, comic strips have made a bigger place for themselves at the event. “This year we have considerably developed our comic book division, with 50 authors”, abounds François David. With a blind spot, alas: only a handful of French manga authors found themselves this year in Brive, like Reno Lemaire (dreamland, ed. pika). The trend could however be revised upwards for the next edition of the fair, in November 2023.

“Brive is a conviviality that goes beyond the fair. It’s serious, but also joyful. We eat, we drink, we dance too! »

François David, curator of the Brive Book Fair

The Book Fair not only receives the winners of literary prizes, it also distributes them. The Grand Prix de l’Académie Mallarmé, which crowns poetry in French every year, went to Christophe Mahy (Passing day, ed. Gallimard). Issued by the City of Brive, the French Language Prize went to Nathacha Appanah, rewarded for all of her work. The readers of the Ville de Prix awarded Grégor Péan (The second life of Eva Braun, ed. Robert Laffont).

“This 40e Book Fair, magnificently embodied by the presidency of François Busnel, will mark the history of this great and beautiful cultural event, rejoiced the mayor of Brive Frédéric Soulier, in a press release. If the figures speak for themselves, I would like to remember from this edition the tremendous mobilization and the manifest enthusiasm of the public who literally celebrated the writers, all the writers present in Brive.

Finally, Brive would not be Brive without its perks, its charming surprises, its incomparable evenings. “Susie Morgenstern arrived with her 78 years and put an extraordinary atmosphere, slips François David. Lambert Wilsonalso hosted an evening on Proustwhich had a full house. Brive is a conviviality that goes beyond the fair. It’s serious, but also joyful. We eat, we drink, we also dance”. And in the evening, it sings in the restaurants. Olivia Ruiz and André Manoukian provided the show at the Francis Poulenc auditorium. Behind the scenes, it is said that the invited politicians – in particular François Hollande and Jean Lassalle – would have been all the rage on the dance floor of the Cardinal, the local nightclub.


Leave a Comment