by Silvia Meave*
© 2015 Photo Courtesy of Gerardo Jimenez Ozuna/LéaLA2015 used with permission.
The 2015 edition of the LéaLA Feria del Libro en Español de Los Angeles book fair beat the previous year success, according to the organizers of this annual event, which is becoming an interesting cultural benchmark across the country, and overseas.
Over three days, from May 15 to 17, nearly 90.000 visitors virtually sold out the available supply of books In the Los Angeles Convention Center, proving that angelenos are eager to read in Spanish language.
Visitors at the recent LéaLA book fair had the opportunity to meet some of the most renowned contemporary authors and journalists who write in Spanish, like Mexican writers Alberto Ruy Sanchez, Carmen Boullosa, Xavier Velasco. Juan Vllloro, Javier Valdez. Lydia Cacho. and José Rcveles, just to mention but a few.
The Mexican non-fiction writers filled out the best sellers' lists in this event, since Angelenos showed that they are interested to read extensive journalistic investigations on Mexican hot affairs.
The event that reached its fourth edition this year is organized by the University of Guadalajara Foundation USA to promote Spanish language literacy among the Latino community, as well as to introduce "meaningful literary and cultural traditions in the Spanish language" to non Spanish speaking communities, a spokesperson said to media at the book fair.
This 2015 edition acknowledged the Mexico City's literature tradition. So. organizers brought more than one hundred authors, and 340 publishing companies from eight countries to Los Angeles, that mean a huge cultural offer for the American book market. Additionally, there were workshops on art for adults, teenagers and kids, and theatrical performances in Spanish language.
The University of Guadalajara Foundation USA chose Los Angeles to host the most important Spanish language book fair in the United States because this Is the city with the largest Latino and Mexican population out of Latin America.
According to the organizers, visitors from Chicago, Miami and other American cities traveled to Los Angeles to enjoy this literary party in Spanish language. However, despite its amazing accomplishment the Spanish language book fair in Los
Angeles may turn out to be a biennial event in the future, if its organizers cannot raise enough funds from private sponsors to spread out the event activities for 2016. This book fair currently depends on a few nonprofit and government subsidies. ♦