The Cuban Publisher That Rescued the Work of Dulce Maria Loynaz Presents its Catalogue in Frankfurt

Editor Osmany Echevarría Velázquez represented Ediciones Loynaz on October 15 at the introductory seminar of the program. (Facebook/Ediciones Loynaz)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 20 October 2022 — Ediciones Loynaz, the publishing house of Pinar del Río that publishes Pedro Juan Gutiérrez and Dulce María Loynaz, presents its titles at the International Book Fair in Frankfurt (Germany), which is held from this Wednesday through Sunday.

The invitation was made possible thanks to a program for small publishers, from which twenty companies from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America benefited. According to reports on the event by the publishing house on its social networks, editor Osmany Echevarría Velázquez represented Ediciones Loynaz on October 15 at the introductory seminar of the program.

During the presentation, Echevarría introduced the publisher’s catalogue, its distribution processes and its “positioning as part of the Territorial Editions System,” an official network of the Cuban Book Institute in all the provinces of the Island.

Echevarría pointed out that, after the passage of Hurricane Ian through Pinar del Río, where the publishing house has its headquarters, the province was “wounded in its soul and its land.” He added that, after the hurricane, “we managed to save a selection of printed and digital titles.”

The publishing house was visited this Wednesday by the director of the library of the Ibero-American Institute of Berlin, Peter Altekrueger, and the director of Acquisition and Cataloguing of that institution, Ricarda Musser, who assured there were 180 volumes of Ediciones Loynaz.

For Ediciones Loynaz, the Fair is “a privilege, a recognition” for its three decades of work. Like other provincial publishing houses, it began in 1991, during the Special Period, in the midst of paper shortages and the Cuban economic crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union.

On the Island, Luis Enrique Rodríguez Ortega, its director, had guaranteed the official newspaper Granma that the organizing committee of Frankfurt invited them as a tribute to their three decades of work, but, even more so, as recognition of “the System of Territorial Editions created by Fidel.”

The mention of Castro tried to rid the publisher of all suspicion: it’s not the first time that members of Cuban delegations at international fairs take advantage of the trip to leave the country and request international protection.

Granma points out that titles such as Carta de Egipto [Letter from Egypt], from the Cervantes Dulce María Loynaz Prize, or Cuentos de Guane [Tales of Guane], by Nersys Felipe, will be part of the catalogue of Ediciones Loynaz. It modestly mentions the author from Mantazas, Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, whose novels are known worldwide thanks to the Spanish publishing house Anagrama.

Echevarría comments enthusiastically that Gutiérrez’s volume, Escritores peligrosos y otros temas [Dangerous Writers and Other Subjects], is the jewel of Ediciones Loynaz: “This book shows another facet of its publisher, the facet of the journalist,” he told the EFE agency.

Born to disseminate the works of the Loynaz siblings, despised by the regime along with other Republican writers, it remains to be seen if the Pinar del Río publishing house will resist the temptation to not return to an Island that is experiencing its most critical moment in decades, after participating in the largest book fair in the world, dedicated this year to Spain.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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