One of the most ambitious efforts to celebrate the world of Spanish language books will make its debut when LeaLA, the Spanish book fair in Los Angeles, premieres April 29, 30 and May 1, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
“This book fair is the first of its kind in the U.S.,” says Marisol Schulz, Director of LeaLA. “LeaLA was conceived as a cultural festival where the spinal cord is the literary program, a space where authors from Latin American countries and U.S. Latino writers can find a home that reflects the U.S. Latino reality. A place where Hispanics from all walks of life can rediscover their roots, reading, culture and understand the new society they are building in the U.S.”
LeaLA will feature an impressive gathering of highly acclaimed authors from the literary, cultural and entertainment worlds. More than 100 publishers and 80 authors will showcase their works from fiction to non-fiction, with topics ranging from history to empowerment, for everyone from book aficionados to children just learning to read, in Spanish and English.
Confirmed authors include: Isabel Allende, Laura Restrepo, Francisco Martin Moreno, Xavier Velasco, Sealtiel Alatriste, Carmen Boullosa, Sanjuana Martinez, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, and Sandra Lorenzano. Also participating will be the Director of the Royal Spanish Academy, Jose Manuel Blecua; former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres; legendary singing superstar, Jose Jose; actress Kate del Castillo, and more celebrities who will read to children in the kids’ zone.
The Mexican state of Jalisco is the honored special guest and as a tribute LeaLA will present a homage to three Mexican literary greats: Juan Rulfo, Agustin Yanez and Juan Jose Arreola, as well as the theatre performances by one of Mexico’s greatest artists, actor-writer-director, Ofelia Medina, presenting “El Placer de Nuestra Lengua,” “The Pleasures of Our Tongue,” with the Ruben Albarran (lead singer of Cafe Tacvba).
The event is open to the public and expects to draw over 30,000 people. Admission is free to the book fair. Event hours are: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Concourse Hall, 1201 South Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 90015. Tickets for the concerts and theatre performances are available through Ticketmaster.
LeaLA is an initiative organized by the University of Guadalajara USA Foundation and supported by the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Feria Internacional del Libro, known worldwide as FIL; and the University of Guadalajara in Los Angeles.