Kolkata: The 35th edition of the annual Kolkata International Book Fair, the largest of its kind in the country, got underway on Tuesday in the presence of award winning author Richard Ford and US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer.
Ford, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist from America, inaugurated the 12-day fair with a wooden plaque as Roemer looked on.
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, also present on the occasion, said it was a rare opportunity for residents of the city to buy books on science, sociology and US literature at the fair, with the principal theme of `America`, this year.
"It is a rare opportunity for city readers to get familiar once again with authors like Arthur Miller, William Faulkner, Edgar Allan Poe and Saul Bellow who are very popular with our readers here," Bhattacharjee said.
This year`s book fair, open to visitors from tomorrow till February six at Milan Mela in the eastern outskirts of the metropolis, would be without any entry fee. There are around 522 stalls in the fair.
Roemer said it was a matter of delight that `America` had been made the focal theme of the Kolkata Book Fair "in this great city of Tagore and Mother Teresa."
"As US ambassador, I am delighted to be here to see the works of dedicated authors of both US and India," he said and referred to Gandhi`s inspiring influence on the civil rights movement in the US and his great influence on President Barack Obama.