Browsing the ‘Testo’ Literary Fair at the Stazione Leopolda
February 24 – 26: TESTO [Come si diventa un libro] (How to create a book) book and publishing fair. Stazione Leopolda, Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5 (outside Porta a Porta near the Teatro del Maggio and located across the Stazione Leopolda tram stop). Open 10 am – 8 pm. Admission: €5.
The TESTO literary fair will return to Florence to celebrate its second edition, featuring over 160 events by authors, and book publishers for literary fans to enjoy. Literally meaning ‘How to create a book,’ TESTO zeros in on the fascinating world of literature by allowing its guests to be the protagonists of their experience.
Over 100 publishing houses will be present at the fair, in addition to Italian and international authors who have been invited as special guests. Pitti Immagine has organized TESTO over the course of three days to ensure that it is interactive and all-encompassing for everyone in attendance.
Two aisles of the Leopolda will be designated to publishing houses. Publishers will only present a small number of titles for visitors to browse, while a complete book catalog will also be available for viewing. Discussions with editors and booksellers will allow guests to get lost in the world of reading and provide an opportunity to peruse each publisher’s offerings.
Successful editors, authors and journalists from the United States will be at the festival, such as Edward St Aubyn, author of the Patrick Melrose novels; Jessica Bruder, journalist and author of the New York Times bestselling book Nomadland; Barbara Epler, president and of publishing house New Directions; Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jhumpa Lahiri; Ron Rash, poet, short story writer and novelist; and Scott Turow, author of 13 fiction and three nonfiction books that have been translated into over 40 languages. Iconic writers Shakespeare and Vonnegut will also be honored, which will bring more American familiarity to TESTO.
The life cycle of a book will be highlighted in seven stations around the fair. Guests will receive an explanation of the work behind the book, from the author’s original idea, the entire process up to, including publishing, and how it gets into the hands of readers everywhere through distribution.
The titles of the stations are the Manuscript, the Cover, the Translation, the Sign, the Story, the Library, and the Reader. The success of a book is only possible because of the many people involved in the process — the writer, editor, translators, graphic designers, promotors, booksellers, and even the reader — all have a profound impact on a book. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about each of these career fields and ask questions of successful practitioners at each station. Access to the stations is limited to few participants; registration is mandatory and can be found here.
The University of Florence is hosting two workshops that will focus on page layout. They will be taught by the heads of the Master’s Degree in Paper and Digital Publishing of the Department of Education, Languages, Interculture, Literature and Psychology. Vincenzo Mantovani and Laura Pugno, among other well-known individuals, will be hosting translation workshops. The Braille Printing House of the Tuscan region will have its own station inside the fair for kids and adults alike to observe.
Distinguished career professionals from around the world will be joining the event such as Juergen Boos, founder of the Frankfurt Book Fair and famous publisher and Russian-Swiss writer Mikail Shishkin, the only author to have won the Russian Booker Prize, the Russian National Bestseller award and the Big Book Prize. American author and journalist Dale Maharidge, a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1990 for General Non-Fiction, will also be in attendance. Other international special guests include Goran Vojnovic; a Slovenian writer, poet, screenwriter, and film director, and Amélie Nothomb; Belgian novelist awarded the Prix Renaudot in 2021 who has written one book each year since the age of 26.
The Santa Maddalena Foundation will present information on the Gregor von Rezzori Award, a literary prize established in 2007 in honor of author Gregor von Rezzori, for the best foreign work translated into Italian in the last year.
Moving around Stazione Leopolda will be effortless as tour guides are tasked with walking visitors around the exhibition to see booksellers, librarians, literary critics, authors, and other representatives that involve literature and composition. Each guide will move a small group of people around the venue on a unique path; they are dedicated to the readers and strive to provide them with an unforgettable experience.
With a plethora of potential meet and greets, and an abundance of activities to participate in, TESTO is an event to bookmark for everyone interested in the world of literature.
For more information on the event, visit: https://testo.pittimmagine.com.
(Parker Hurley & Sofie Refojo)