3rd Chania Book Festival 26-30 June 2024: “Connecting words, connecting narratives”

|PEN Greece is a supporter of the 3rd Chania Book Festival|
Central topic: “Europe, past and future. Insights into literature, culture, politics”
With particular warmth and enthusiasm, the Municipality of Chania, in co-organization with the Region of Crete, inaugurate the 3rd year of the Chania Book Festival (BCF), from Wednesday 26 to Sunday 30 June 2024. In an important moment for the new institution that is now established in Chania, the presentation for the 3rd Chania Book Festival took place to journalists, authors and publishers on Tuesday, May 28 in Athens.
During the presentation, the Mayor of Chania, Panagiotis Simandirakis, as the main host of the Festival, said he was proud of what the group has achieved over the years: “What started three years ago, came to stay and give a distinct piece in the area of ​​the book, while escaping from stereotypes”. Mr. Simandirakis spoke about what makes the Festival successful, including the idyllic, attractive spaces, the important personalities, while he concluded that “the people, whether they are in the production part or the reception and support, are the ones who after all, they give this different color to the Festival… Successful festivals are those that take root and come and bond with the wider society”.
For his part, the Vice-Regional Governor of Chania, Nikos Kalogeris, noted that the Festival is innovating, against the current of digitization of everything and “Chania has loved it, the people participate a lot, Crete embraces it very warmly and they come from all over Crete for to watch it – so we invite the whole world, from Greece and beyond, to come this five days to Chania”.
The deep love of the place for literature and the people of the book, was conveyed by the Deputy Mayor of Culture of Chania, Yiannis Giannakakis: “The heart of the people of Chania “leans” towards the port during that period, with a book in hand… This year, having has more than doubled the participating countries since last year, it is a proof that even if it is not called international, it is an international Festival, which as such deserves to be cared for and paid even more attention to.”
With a central theme “Europe, past and future. Glimpses into literature, culture, politics”, the FVBH will be held with a focus on the Venetian Port of the city, between the Mediterranean Architecture Center (Great Arsenal) and the Mikis Theodorakis Theatre, the Director of the Festival, Manolis Pimplis, said, among others, ” with the effort to slowly join a wider international festival map, a bet that is not simple, but definitely requires effort and time”.
More than 100 speakers from 17 countries – writers, academics, translators, intellectuals and artists, not only from Greece, but also Cyprus, the USA, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru and Costa Rica-, taking part in more than 60 thematic discussions, book presentations, workshops, theatrical events, performances, concerts, around books of modern Greek and foreign prose, poetry, essays, from 35 publishers (Gutenberg, Loggia, Agra, Alexandria, Asini, Bacchikon, Dioptra, Editions of the Twenty-First, Ereisma, Thrace, Ikaros, Iolkos , Kaleidoscope, Kalentis, Karmanor, Kastaniotis, Texts, Kichli, KPSM, Livanis, Metaichmio, Metronomos, Minoas, Island, University Publications of Crete, Patakis, Perispomeni, Polis, River, Compass of the City, Rhadamanthys, Stereoma, Place, Psychogios, Ocean ).
Representing the participants of the first two years of the Festival, but renewing their presence this year, the authors Rhea Galanaki and Lena Divani also participated in the presentation, capturing their experience from the first two cycles of the Chania Festival.”This Festival has a great freshness, it has succeeded and is becoming, not only Greek, but also international, more and more. It is the most important, free and ambitious, but also quality thing that exists in Greece at the moment, in relation to the book”, said Rhea Galanaki, while Lena Divani noted: “The city embraced us, we embraced it too, the place is unique, I have not seen it anywhere else in the world.”
The Festival cooperates with renowned cultural organizations and agencies of the city of Chania (Municipal Regional Theater of Crete, Municipal Library of Chania, Philological Association of Chania Prefecture, Greek-French Association of Chania, Chania Film Festival), while continuing to expand its neuralgic collaborations (Greek-Ibero-American Festival LEA-Literature in Athens, German Translators Fund/DÜF-Toledo Program, Commissioner for Culture and Media of the Federal Government of Germany, French Institute of Greece, Cervantes Institute of Athens, Italian Educational Institute of Athens, PEN Greece).
The books of both the honored authors and all the participants in the thematic discussions will be made available to the visitors of the FBH again this year, by a partnership of bookstores in the city of Chania (Comixadiko, Samiamythi, Sporaki, To Trenaki).
At the same time, a detailed presentation was made for this year’s participants, the collaborations, as well as the actions that will take place alongside the main body of the Festival.
The full, detailed program is expected to be announced in the next period of time, with a Press Release and also on the official website of the Chania Book Festival: www.chaniabookfestival.gr as well as on social media.

The focus is on Europe and 50 years
parliamentary democracy in Greece
With a central theme “Europe, past and future. Glimpses into literature, culture, politics”, the 3rd FVBH attempts this year a tour of the eventful past and the uncertainties of the future of the European continent, through the eyes of literature, history, politics.
In this context, various thematic discussions and book presentations will be held, in which, among others, participate:
– On Wednesday, June 26: The Italian writer and director of the literary festival Pordenonelegge.it, Alberto Garlini (“The Law of Hate”) and George-Stylianos Prevelakis, professor of Geopolitics, Urban Planning and Cultural Geography at the Sorbonne School of Geography (Paris I) and the Institute of Political Studies.
– On Thursday, June 27: The multi-awarded Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov (Georgi Gospodinov, Man Booker International Prize 2023, Bulgarian State Prize for Fiction 2021, Strega Europeo 2021 prize, etc. – “Where we are not”), the American writer and professor of Political Science and History at the University of California in the USA, Andony Pagden (Andony Pagden – “The Pursuit of Europe. A History”) and Giannis Hamilakis, Professor of Archeology and Professor of Modern Greek Studies at Brown University in the USA (“Archaeology, Nation and race”).
– On Friday, June 28: Antigoni Vlavianou, associate professor of History of European Literature at the Hellenic Open University, Titika Dimitroulia, professor of Theory and Practice of Translation at the Department of Theater Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, translator and literary critic, and Panagiotis Korliras, professor emeritus of the Athens University of Economics, former deputy governor of the Bank of Greece and former president of the Ionian and People’s Bank (“Small stories about Europe”).
– On Saturday, June 29: Elias Kolovos, professor of Ottoman history at the Department of History and Archeology of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Crete, Yiannis Skalidakis, lecturer of European and Greek History at the Department of Political Science of the University of Crete and Yiannis Dimitrakakis, associate professor of Modern Greek Philology at the Department of Philology of the University of Crete.
– On Sunday, June 30: Loukas Tsoukalis, author (“The coming of age of Europe”) and professor at the Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Po), Professor Emeritus of the University of Athens, president of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP); and award-winning author Nikos Psilakis (2022 Academy of Athens Ourani Literary Foundation commendation for his body of work in historical fiction), who will talk about Cretan mythology in relation to Europe (“Cretan Mythology”).
In addition, as 2024 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the fall of the dictatorship and the birth of the Third Greek Republic, the participants of the Greek Democracy will also discuss the challenges of the Greek democracy and its literary imprints:
– On Friday, June 28: The authors Rhea Galanakis, recently awarded the Grand Prize for Letters for the overall contribution of her work, and Niki Troullinou (“Solon Street”), the author and translator Andreas Apostolidis (“Romantica”), the author, journalist and director of the online magazine “The Reader”, Giannis Baskozos (“The Ballad of the Ignorant and the Good”) and Nicholas A. Sevastakis (“Origin or the Stories of Others”), professor of Contemporary Politics and Social Philosophy at the Department of Political Sciences of AUTH.
Also, the Union of Greek Librarians and Information Scientists (EEVEP), in collaboration with libraries of Crete, will present an event entitled “Libraries and Democracy”, where the following will participate: Anthi Katsirikou, president of EEVEP, head of the Library of the University of Piraeus, Maria Hezaki, Librarian at the Library & Information Center of the Hellenic Mediterranean University (ELMEPA), Katerina Voutirakis, Head of the ELMEPA Information Library & Information Center, Maria Daoudakis, Head of the Library of Crete, Irini Dragasaki, Koundourios Municipal Library of Agios Nikolaos Municipality.


Important Greek authors & twice as many foreign entries
The 3rd FBC presents 24 foreign entries from 17 countries (up from 11 foreign entries from 8 countries in the 2nd FBC in 2023) and more than 70 important Greek writers, academics, translators, intellectuals, etc., who will take part in thematic panels and presentations of new publications, both from the field of literature and from the field of society. Indicative:
– On Wednesday June 26: The distinguished Swiss poet and prose writer Leta Semadeni (Swiss Prize for Literature 2016, Grand Prize for Literature of the Swiss Confederation 2023 for her entire work) will talk with Teos Votsos, her translator into Greek (” Tamangour”); the philologist and writer Roula Vourakis, who will talk with the philologist Varvara Perrakis and the publisher Christos Mahairidis, writer, director of the periodical edition of Speech and Art “Ereisma”; Mattheos Franceskakis, director of the Chania Film Festival, of the Cultural Society of Crete and “Pyxida tis Polis” publications, who will talk with the Turkish poet Cevat Çapan (They came with a vine from Crete), the Turkish poet Ayşe Lahur Kırtunç and the translator from Turkish, Anthi Karras.
– On Thursday, June 27: American writer Cara Hoffman (Cara Hoffman – “The Barks”), a representative voice of the new American generation of writers (New York Times Best Novel of the Year Award), founding member of the Anarchist Review of Books∙ the author Lena Divanis (“For his heart and liver”), who will discuss with Dimitris Michelogiannis, Special Advisor to the Regional Governor of Crete and Phoivos Tsaravopoulos, Founder of the Co.S.Ep. Paths of Greece, for the new edition of the Region of Crete, “My Paths in Crete: Apokoronas”; the authors Ioanna Bourazopoulou (award of the Academy of Athens 2015) on the occasion of the completion of the novel trilogy “The Dragon of Prespa”, Sofia Nikolaidou (“Our children”), Michalis Malandrakis (“Turn up the music, please”), Michalis Albatis (“The catalysis of time”) and the historian and founding member of the Social History Forum Menelaos Charalambidis (“The dosilogues. Armed, political and economic cooperation during the years of the Occupation”).
A special moment of the second day of the FBX will be the presentation, for the first time in Greece, of the preliminary results of the research conducted in 2023 by the Department of Communication and Digital Media of the University of Western Macedonia on the subject of the book, reading habits and behaviors of young people belonging to generation Z (“Is reading a pleasure for young people? Exploring the place of books in the lives of Gen-Z”) with speakers Anastasia Giannakopoulou, assistant professor of the Department of Communication and Digital Media at the University of Western Macedonia and Yannis Angelou, Doctor of Communication and Media, scientific associate of the Department of Communication and Digital Media of the University of Western Macedonia.

– On Friday, June 28: The multi-awarded (Goncourt Prize 2015, shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017, etc.) French writer Mathias Énard (Mathias Énard, “The Annual Banquet of the Undertaker’s Guild”); the prolific (Libris Prize 2013 of the Royal Academy of Belgium) Dutch writer Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer (‘Grand Hotel Europa’) and Argentinian writer Marianna Enriquez (‘Our side of the night’); Angelos Haniotis (‘The Age of Conquests’ »), professor of Ancient History and Classical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, corresponding member of the Academy of Athens, collaborator of the New York University excavations at the ancient city of Aphrodisias in Asia Minor and co-director of the excavation of Lyktos in Crete; the laureate (2nd National Essay Award 1986, Novel Award 1996 and Literary Essay-Study Award of the magazine “Diavazo” 2010) novelist and essayist Giannis Kiourtsakis, who will present his new work (“Seferis and Camus: A Matter of Light”).
For the first time, this year’s FBX also focuses on translation issues and this will be the subject of a panel with the participation of renowned Greek and foreign translators, the British David Connolly and, from the Greek side, Rita Kolaitis, Katerina Schina and Kostas Athanasiou .
On the same day, Petros Markaris (“The Revolt of the Caryatids”), multi-translated writer of detective fiction, dramatist, translator, scholar of the work of Bertolt Brecht and screenwriter of Theodoros Angelopoulos, honorary president of the Hellenic-Ibero-American Festival LEA- Literature in Athens, while Assistant Professor of Communication and Digital Media Anastasia Giannakopoulou meets Trivialist (“From King Death to King Sun”), creator of the successful educational social media page of the same name, in a discussion on “Science and Social Media : European Stories Online and Offline’.
– On Saturday, June 29: The prize-winning (Herralde Novel Prize 2014) Mexican novelist and director of the magazine Revista de la Universidad de México, Guadalupe Nettel (Guadalupe Nettel – “The only daughter”) will discuss with the Spanish (El Ojo Critico 2025 prize) poet and novelist Sara Mesa (The Family) at an event entitled “The dynamics of the modern family”; Pilar Tena, author and director of the Cervantes Institute of Athens, presents her recent book ( “The Arithmetic of the Family”) and the Peruvian Santiago Roncagliolo (The Year the Demon was Born), one of the most recognized and popular prose writers in Latin America, talks to the important writer from Costa Rica and professor at the University of Cambridge Carlos Fonseca (Carlos Fonseca – “Natural History Museum”).
Furthermore, on the occasion of his latest book (“The cycle. Science and democracy in anxious times”), Stefanos Trahanas, founding member of the University Press of Crete (PEK) of the Technology and Research Foundation, leading quantum physicist and honorary PhD from the University of Crete, who in 2015 was honored for his entire contribution with the Superior Order of Phoenix of the Hellenic Republic.
In addition, Rhea Galanaki will speak with Marina Aretaki, EDIP member of the Department of Philology of the University of Crete on the occasion of the re-release, with a new title, of the older edition “Where does the wolf live?”
On the same day, composer, songwriter and writer Kostas Ganotis’ latest novella (“Mama, I’m not me”) will be the occasion for a discussion about shame, abuse of power and oppression in the modern age of the “revolution of identities” “, with the translator, writer, screenwriter and documentary director Panagiotis Evaggelidis, who this year was honored with a Golden Alexander at the 26th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival for his overall contribution to cinema and culture.

In an extremely dynamic panel on the challenges and impact of international book festivals, as well as networking between them, the following will talk: Adriana Martinez from Colombia, director of the Hellenic-Ibero-American Festival LEA-Literature in Athens; Claudia Neira from Nicaragua, director of the Centroamerica Cuenta Festival; Pilar Reyes, Editorial Director of the Literary Department of the Penguin Random House Publishing Group; the Mexican writer and essayist (Biblioteca Breve Award 1999, José Award Donoso 2008 for his overall work Jorge Volpi, who from 2012 to 2016 directed the Cervantino International Festival and from 2016 to 2022 was Coordinator of Cultural Dissemination at the National Autonomous University (UNAM) of Mexico and is currently director of the Mexican Studies Center of UNAM in Madrid; the Spanish Juan Cruz Ruíz, journalist, one of the founders of the historical newspaper El Pais, author and distinguished literary critic, and Manolis Pimblis, director of the Chania Book Festival.
Finally, the emphasis on translation issues is complemented by the presentation of the results of the 3rd Greek-German translation workshop ViceVersa by the translators Michaela Princhiger and Theo Votso, as well as the participants. It is a new institution hosted by the FVB, during which (June 23-30) ten female and male translators from and into German will have the opportunity to work together on texts given to them by the organizers (among others , excerpts from the novels “And let the dead bury their dead” by Michalis Albatis and “A wie Ada” by the Turkish journalist and writer Dilek Gungor – her book is published in Greek ” My father and I”, who lives and works in Berlin), to discuss issues related to translation, but also to exchange opinions about their professional situation.
– On Sunday, June 30: Among other things, the single most extensive narrative prose work (“Andreas”) of one of the most important representatives of the Viennese avant-garde, the Austrian writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929), will be presented, first published in Greece in Chania by Rhadamanthys publications.
Among the numerous events of the last day of the FVBH, their recent novels will be presented by the Cypriot mathematician and writer Tevkros Michaelidis, founding member of the group Thalis + Friends and the Hellenic Club of Writers of Police Literature (“A Corpse in Amalia’s Yard”) and award-winning (Mediterranean Crime Fiction Award 2023) crime writer Christos Markogiannakis (“The Killer in the Pages”).
During the five-day festival, visitors will have the opportunity to meet and attend events with a number of other creators (Iakovos Anifantakis, Fotis Dousos, Vasilios F. Drolias, Nikolas Zirganos, Nikos Iatrou, Lefteris Kalospyros, Kostas Kaltsas, Joel Lopino , Dimitris N. Maniatis, Antonia Botonaki, Yiannis Nikoloudis, Yiannis Palavos, Eleni Priovolou, Yogia Siokou, Stavros Christodoulou, etc.).
Concerts, theater events, performances, workshops for children,
and collaboration with PEN Greece for protection
of freedom of expression
– Throughout the FBX:
The 3rd FBC is launching another new collaboration, with PEN Greece, the official branch in Greece of PEN International, one of the largest international organizations in the field of the promotion of literature and the protection of freedom of expression, on the occasion of the launch of the brochure “Know Her Words” (“Know Her Words”), as part of the international initiative of the Women Writers’ Committee of PEN International to highlight the best writing by women writers from around the world.
– On Wednesday, June 26:
The “writers” are a group of emergency writers. They operate on the street, in various areas of Athens, depending on the social conditions and demands of the day. They write poems by hand and on a typewriter. They are addressed to unique recipients ─ passers-by. Their goal is to inform the world in another way about whatever is happening or urgent.In their first action outside of Athens, they will appear at the 3rd FBC. The group includes the poets Paulina Marvin and Tonia Tzirita Zaharatou.
– On Friday, June 28:
The Municipal Regional Theater of Crete, following the invitation of the festival, cooperates with the FVBH and presents the play “The working class goes to hell”, a musical reading based on Didier Eribon’s book, “Return to Rennes”. Actor, director and acting teacher Akyllas Karazisis and British musician, composer and producer Gary Salomon attempt to bring the book to life with words and music.
– On Thursday, June 27:
The actress, director and writer Valentina Papadimitraki (“A nest for me”) invites children to wander in the forest with a little white squirrel. To play, sing, taste fresh fruit and discover how a nest is made for all seasons (guitar, song: Chloe Karapasia, Leonidas Maridakis).
– On Thursday 27 and Saturday 29 June:
A creative writing program for children on the theme of travel (“Travelling with imagination”), with the educational supervision of Melina Iliopoulou, Msc Sociology, special educator and author, based on her book series “Imaginary walk in Thessaloniki”, “Imaginary walk in Florence”, “Imaginary walk in London”, which aims to introduce children to the concept of studying different countries of the world through culture, language and monuments.
– On Friday, June 28 and Sunday, June 30:
Experiential workshops for children, curated by educator, partner of the Mayor of Chania in matters of Education and author Anna Nebaylakis (“Damn it, I’m going out. 8 self-esteem hiding places to find yourself and play with others”). The participants are: Konstantinos Proimos, assistant professor of History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture at the University of Crete (“Food for thought”), Athena Doulia, school counselor of the 1st Region of Chania, Crete (“Enjoyable activity”), Konstantinos Fischer, visual artist (“Something precious”), Kosmas Lilikakis, visual artist (“Every work a story”), Nikos Kampianakis, photographer, teacher (“Lights, camera, let’s go to Chania”), Anna Nebaylakis (“Two words from Anna”).
– On Sunday, June 30:
With the completion of the 3rd FVBH, the Kalogeraki brothers (Mihalis and Pantelis Kalogerakis) present a part of their previous discography, as well as their new work, which will be presented for the first time at the Alternative Stage of the National Opera. With the participation of the musicians Lambros Papanikolaou on the double bass and Efstratios Grindzalis on the bouzouki.