The duration of the 2013 Kolkata Book Fair has been extended by three days, following a request from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, to help small and medium-sized publishers.
The 37th edition of the popular fair will now start Jan 26 in the state capital instead of Jan 29 and will end Feb 10 as scheduled earlier.
"The chief minister suggested that keeping in mind small and medium scale publishers from the state, if the period of the fair could be slightly be increased, they would benefit," Tridib Chatterjee, one of the organisers of the International Kolkata Book Fair, said Friday.
"Keeping in mind her request, we have decided to inaugurate the fair on January 26 instead of January 29. The fair will continue till Feb 10," said Chatterjee, general secretary of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild.
The fair last year did a business of over Rs.20 crore.
Besides the focus country of Bangladesh, Britain, the US, Italy, Vietnam, China, Israel and Costa Rica will set up book pavilions at the fair.
"Bangladeshi essayist and academic Anisuzzaman will inaugurate the fair," Bangladesh`s Deputy High Commissioner Abida Islam said.
Also, Nobel laureates, writers, dramatists and musicians from various countries are expected to take part in the Kolkata Literary Meet to mark the centenary of poet-writer Rabindranath Tagore winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.
Iconic Bengali writer Sunil Gangopadhyay, who passed away in October, will also be remembered at the event through speeches and an award instituted in his memory.