From squatting to Nobel Prize winners

1st Book Fair in Istria
We shall render the book a source of happiness and wisdom!

11th – 16th December 1995
Forum Square: Gallery Capitolium, Gallery Diana 

Built without extensive preparatory works, through numerous creative games and the seemingly temporary zeal of the people gathered around Pula bookstore Castropola, the First Book Fair in Istria came to life. 

From the very beginning, it had a regional character, and as such, it was one of a kind in Croatia. At the Fair, in the galleries of the City Council located at the ancient Forum Square, at the improvised stands crafted by the master of theatre scenography Roman Višković, 56 Croatian publishers displayed their books. This kind of event wouldn't be possible without the imagination, experience, and creative courage of its conceptual founder, Boško Obradović. Along with him, Magdalena Vodopija, Tereza Pulja, Vojislav Stojković Stole, Zoran Vodopija, and 15 students of the University of Pula created the first Fair.  

"Atmosphere that arises from the book – the book as a personality cult – gives us, the Fair, a small chance. The answer to the question: "How to become a part of cultural tradition?" contains that small chance. We shall render the book a source of happiness and wisdom." These are the words enunciated from a balcony at the Forum Square one warm December morning that opened the First Book Fair in Istria. 

2nd Book Fair in Istria
Book Cult at an Ancient Square

2nd – 11th December 1996
Forum Square: Gallery Capitolium, Gallery Diana 

"Book Cult at the Ancient Square" – in this somewhat smug and bombastic manner, the organizers announced the Second Book Fair in Istria. Along with the publishers who participated in the first Fair, there were twenty-some newcomers. Program-wise, the second edition of the Fair reflected the wish of the organizers that this event transcends the form of the commercial display of books and becomes a place for book presentation and a meeting point for the members of the literary scene. The first book promotion of the Fair took place on 3rd December 1996 at 11:00, in front of the Augustus Temple, in the open. The public presentation of the Croatian General Lexicon, with Tomislav Ladan and August Kovačec as hosts, was the first in the line of fifty-some book promotions that took place during the first six years of Fair's existence. 

The same year, the first exhibition of the Fair took place. It was the presentation of the engravings made by Marina Banić for the book If You Say Yes.

In that post-war era, when many publishers didn't even have a proper list of their titles, the Fair had a catalog with a precise list of all the displayed books. During ten days, the Fair was attended by more than 30,000 book lovers. 


3rd Book Fair in Istria
Terra Incognita

8th – 18th December 1997
Portarata Square, Old Mall

After the galleries Capitolium and Diana hosted its first two editions, the Fair moved to another space. A ruinous old building located in the vicinity of the Arch of the Sergi and called Old Mall by Pula's residents hosted 107 Croatian publishers with almost 4,000 book titles. Fair's catalog was presented as a noteworthy and, at that time, unique list of publishers and the most recent book titles in Croatia. 

The novelty of the Third Book Fair were announcements about the Fair and its events, appearing daily in the then-new medium – the Internet.
The Best Book Contest, also inaugurated that year, was won by Branko Fučić for Terra Incognita

Parallelly to the Book Fair, the first Recycled Goods' Fair in Istria took place, and for ten days, the visitors and bypassers could view its exhibits placed in the glass windows of the Old Mall. The unique dolls made by Gordana Majnarić were exhibited at the Recycled Goods' Fair under the name Birds of Feather Flock Together. The organizers take special pride in the third edition of the Fair because it brought attention to the devastation and commercialization of the emblematic city spaces. 


4th Book Fair in Istria
Following Balota's verses: „The life is beautiful only when sacrificed without fear“

7th – 17th December 1998
Forum Square: Gallery Diana, Gallery Cvajner and former space of the bookstore Mladost

Constantly searching for a venue to host it, the Fair returned to the Forum Square and settled in the Gallery Diana, the former space of the legendary bookstore Mladost, and Gallery Cvajner. The circle of literary venues at the ancient square was completed with the quaint, romantic bibliobus that arrived from Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The Fourth Fair was marked by the participation of 137 publishers from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with Taschen, a renowned publisher from Köln. More than 7000 book titles were included in the extensive catalog. The accompanying program of the Fair, becoming more diverse every year, was enriched through the participation of the musician Dario Marušić and choreographer Slavica Šenk. 

Although the year 1998 seemed deadly for Croatian publishing because of the introduction of value added tax, the Fair was visited by more than 40,000 book lovers, while the motto of this edition of the Fair were the verses written by Mate Balota: "The life is beautiful only when sacrificed without fear“.


5th Book Fair in Istria
Book as a Film Star

6th – 16th December 1999
Cinema Pula

If luck would have it, and if the Fair had a permanent venue, we believe that the abandoned and derelict space of the Cinema Pula - the place of the first fascination with film for many generations of Pula citizens - would never be given a second life. 

Now the Book - in a manner of a real film star - enlivened the stalls and the stage beneath the big screen. At the Fair, 170 Croatian publishers displayed their book titles, this time on the real bookshelves. 

The encyclopedia published by the Institute of Lexicography Miroslav Krleža, titled Krlesiana, was proclaimed the Book of the Fair. Many of the book promotions culminated with the concerts of well-known Istrian musicians: Tamara Obrovac, Dario Marušić, and Livio Morosin.
For the first time, a foreign author participated in the Fair. The Argentinian writer Federico Andahasi, author of a highly contradictory book titled The Anatomist, stayed at the Pula Fair for two days. Long lines for the books and autographs, vast crowds in front of the stage, TV cameras and flashes – coming not only from journalists but also from the ladies in their golden age – these are the scenes that secured Andahazi a special place in the history of the Fair. 

It was also the first time that the Fair got extensive media coverage. The words of Slobodan Prosperov Novak - "Compared to the Book Fair(y) in Istria, Interliber looks like a county fair“ - echoed through Croatia, while the numerous newspaper articles and television reports introduced the Fair to the wider audience. The Fair was visited by a record number of 60,000 people.


6th Book Fair in Istria
To the Bed With a Book

4th – 14th December 2000
Cinema Pula

The sixth Fair was dedicated to all of those who lay in bed with a book, to the inexistent club of bed readers. This Book Fair in Istria began with the slogan "To the Bed With a Book“ and an accompanying poster that stirred up a hornets' nest and caused outrage among self-proclaimed moral policemen. Forty-some authors, editors, and hosts who participated in the book promotions transformed the Fair into a real book festival. At the time, not widely known Festival of A Literature (Festival A Književnosti – FAK) – a traveling, collective presentation of mostly young, but also some established authors - took place as a separate program of the Fair at the legendary Rock Club Uljanik and attracted the most attention.  

The promotion of the book The Biblioclasts by Gérard Haddad will be remembered as the longest and most emotional promotion of the Fair, owing primarily to the host, the late Don Branko Sbutega. That was also the only promotion where the host – because the author wasn't present – signed books at the request of the audience.


7th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pufka1 Mounted the Book

3rd – 13th December 2001
House of Croatian Defenders

The homeless dream of palaces and end up in a pit. The organizers of the Fair never admitted to being homeless, although they roamed around Pula for a full six years, not knowing, until the last moment, where the already announced programs would take place. Before the beginning of the seventh Fair, they came across a real palace - Marine Kasino, originally built for the navy, now known as the House of Croatian Defenders. More than 250 Croatian publishers settled in its secessionist halls, and more than 70,000 people passed through the palace. More than 70 authors, editors, and translators presented their work to the audience in Pula where 30 tons of books arrived, and more than 20 stayed. 

Mauricio Ferlin created the new sign of the Fair – a curvy lady who mounted a book. To the joy of organizers who call for innocent scandals, it provoked strong reactions from conscientious "analysts“. On the other hand, for the Fair's audience, it was love at first sight. 

The organizers of the Fair proclaimed themselves the book dreamers, and the Book Fair in Istria became the Book Fair(y) in Istria.2 But this time, it was not only a marketing trick. The seventh Fair was indeed the place where dreams were made. 

A real festival of books and authors happened, and the long-announced international part of the Fair began to take shape. Along with the publishers from Slovenia, Italy, Austria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the publishers from England and Germany, in cooperation with the Croatian distributor, displayed their books at the Fair.  

1 PUFKA is the abbreviation of Pulski Festival Knjiga i Autora/Pula Festival of Books and Authors. It is the name of Book Fair(y)'s logo and a mascot – a curvy lady mounting a book. The closest translation of her name is „Puffy“.  
The original name of the Book Fair(y) in Istria - Sa(n)jam knjige u Istri - can be read in two ways. When read with the brackets, it translates as Book Fair in Istria, while when read without the brackets, it translates as I Dream of Books in Istria.

8th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Entering the International Stage

2nd – 12th December 2002
House of Croatian Defenders

From an unassuming, small display of books that rose from the dreams of a handful of people gathered around the bookstore Castropola, the Book Fair became the most prominent manifestation of that kind in Croatia, be it by the number of titles displayed and programs hosted, or by the genuine atmosphere of a book festival.

During the eleven days, 80 programs took place, 150 authors, editors, and translators presented their work, and 270 Croatian publishers displayed 10,500 titles.

For the first time, the Fair hosted a special guest – the Czech Republic – a publishing superpower with 14,000 book titles published on a yearly basis. More than 600 Czech titles were displayed at the Fair, while the renowned Czech writers Michal Viewegh, Ludvik Vaculik, and Jiři Menzel had their book promotions. 

Among the numerous foreign guests, these authors stood out: Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting, and Spanish-French writer Fernando Arrabal. 

The three central events of the Fair were the following: the International PEN Conference in Pula with the participation of 50 local and foreign authors; International Conference of the Culture Magazines' Editors on the topic "Anti-globalisation Movements in a Cultural Context“, and Librarians' Weekend devoted to the multiculturality in practice.


9th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: Power of a Woman and Literary Creation

3rd – 13th December 2003
House of Croatian Defenders

"If Interliber is Croatian Frankfurt, then the Book Fair(y) in Istria is Croatian Leipzig.“ -  the minister of culture Dr. Antun Vujić pointed out at the opening of the 9th Book Fair, devoted to its founder Boško Obradović. 

The central theme of the Fair titled "Power of a Woman and Literary Creation“ stirred strong emotions in some women writers even before the Fair's beginning. Irena Vrkljan, Sanja Iveković, Sibila Petlevski, Milana Vuković-Runjić, Andrea Zlatar, Daša Drndić and Julijana Matanović, to mention only some of the local writers, along with Karolina Fetscher, Magdaléna Platzova, Alice Schwarzer, Bettina Balàka, Isabella Bossi Fedrigotti and Erica Fischer presented their intricate work in all of its literary aspects. 

Forty-some tons of books (from 290 Croatian and foreign publishers) arrived at the Fair and were meticulously examined and chosen for their private book collections by tens of thousands of visitors. Apart from the House of Croatian Defenders, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, cafe Foška, Club P14, Rock Club Uljanik, Multimedia Center Luka, restaurant Vela Nera, and Gallery Cvajner opened their doors to the audience and 150-some authors, translators, and editors.

10th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: Travelogues

2nd – 11th December 2004
House of Croatian Defenders

The jubilee edition of the Fair gave rise to the Cyclops, a yearly award for the accomplishments in the field of Croatian literary production, chosen by the experts in the field – members of the Association of Publishers and Booksellers, Croatian Writers' Association, Croatian Writers' Society, Croatian Society of Children's and Young Adult Literature Writers, Croatian Library Association, Croatian Literary Translators' Association, Department for literature and Department for social sciences at the Croatian Academy of Sciences, along with literary critics and culture reporters – and awarded in 12 categories: Editor, Collection of Books (publishing), Prose Fiction, Literary Debut, Poetry Collection, Essay Book, Non-fiction Book, Children's book, Foreign Author's Book, Translation, Book Design and Hit of the Year. The awards – crafted by the painter and sculptor Josip Diminić – were given on the 8th of December in the Grand Salon of the ship Dalmatia, moored at the dock Carbone, while poet, singer-songwriter, author of film and theater music Arsen Dedić got his first Cyclops for poetry. 

The travelogues, the literary adventures describing all sorts of travels, formed the central theme of the Fair. The program Istria Seen Through the Foreigners' Eyes was augmented with a project - similar to the one carried out by colleagues from Slavonia - in which Croatian contemporary authors wrote travelogues about Istria. Naturally, James Joyce, who visited Pula – a maritime Siberia in the middle of nowhere, as he saw it – exactly a hundred years ago, got his rightful place in the Fair's program. 

Surely, all the programs that saw success in the past years continued with the participation of contemporary Croatian authors, editors, translators, essay writers, literary critics and notable foreign guests: François Fejtö, Tess Gallagher, Klaus Hensel, Claudio Magris, Sándor Majoros, Rui Nunes, Iztok Osojnik, Orhan Pamuk, Ilja Stogoff and Dragan Velikić.


11th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: Crime Novel

1st – 10th December 2005
House of Croatian Defenders

In the spirit of the central theme of the 11th Book Fair in Istria – the Crime Novel - the grand opening started with a gunshot at noon and the first murder directed by Matija Ferlin. Jadranka Đokić, Vojo Šiljak, and police inspectors Dr. Fric and Vlado introduced the audience to the world of crime novels, whereas the director of the Book Fair, Magdalena Vodopija, unveiled the reality of the Fair. The crime genre might have taken over the TV series and films, but it has never disappeared from the bookstores and publishing houses. On the contrary, many of them survived because of it. Many local and foreign authors participated in the program Do Not Shoot at the Author: Veit Heinichen, William Lashner, Nicolas Remin, Feđa Šehović, Andrej Kurkov, Edo Popović, Mima Simić...

A notable novelty of the Fair's program was A Talk Behind a Curtain, a program format intended for all those striving for non-trivial literature, expert talks, scientific discussions, intellectual wisecracks, and new book arrivals covering the whole spectrum of human thought.

Nonetheless, the most interesting was the informal sect dedicated to the hedonistic rituals – "Utorkaši/Tuesdayers“ – composed of journalists and writers from Split who usually gather in the tavern Hvaranin on Tuesdays, but on this occasion they moved to restaurant Kantina in Pula. The "Tuesdayers“ wrote a collection of stories specifically for this occasion, titled Our Ancestors. It was crafted as a bibliophilic edition, published in only 144 numbered copies, signed by the authors, and certified with the publisher's stamp. The first copy is jealously guarded in the Book Fair(y) archive, whereas the last copy has its special place in the tavern Hvaranin in Split. 

The Cyclops Award ceremony took place in the new hall of the Aruba Club on the 7th of December at 21:00.


12th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: Poetry Is the Matter of Heart

30. studenog – 9. prosinca 2006.
Dom hrvatskih branitelja

The Book Fair(y) was marked by the presence of Italian writers Umberto Eco and Claudio Magris, who participated, along with twenty-some of their European translators, in the symposium Work in Progress/Lavori in Corso, which took place within the scope of the new festival Polis-Jadran-Europa. 

The first four days, everything revolved around the galactic rose, semiotician, linguist, translator, communicologist, scientist, and one of the most translated contemporary authors- Umberto Eco. The multimedia manifestation Polis-Jadran-Europa introduced the audience to the new names of the contemporary Montenegrian literary scene and editions published within the scope of the book collection At Tomaso's (publishers: Book Fair(y) in Istria, Antibarbarus and Plima). 

That year, most of the guests were poets, which is not as strange considering the central theme of the Fair. Poetry is the Matter of Heart says enough, as Luko Paljetak proved at the grand opening through a meticulous analysis of the dissection of a lyrical heart. More than fifty poets, from beginner bloggers to the masters of sonnets, took the stage and read poetry in the programs Poetry at Domenico's and Club of Living Poets

A multi-instrumentalist, music lyricist, and performer, Antonije Pušić, better known as Rambo Amadeus, and Sarajevan singer-songwriter Kemal Monteno won the hearts of many. 

On the penultimate day of the Fair at the Hotel Riviera, thirteen heavy Cyclopses were given out, simultaneously announcing the (un)lucky number of the next Festival of Books and Authors. 


13th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: The Other Balkans

6th – 15th December 2007
House of Croatian Defenders

A dance performance directed by Matija Ferlin opened the 13th Book Fair(y) in Istria. With an impressive choreography and even more impressive costumes, Ferlin introduced to the numerous audience the focal point of the Fair – the Balkans, or to be exact, The Other Balkans – the one devoid of myth and prejudice. In honor of this theme, a new program titled Balcanic (Op)Sessions was established. Over the course of three days, an array of renowned writers, sociologists, politicians, anthropologists, and other prominent guests participated in the program, such as Andrej Nikolaidis, Aleš Debeljak, Katarina Luketić, Aleksandar Prokopiev, Ivan Čolović, Ljiljana Filipović, Aleksandar Kjosev, Nermin Sarajlić, Elizabeta Šeleva, Beqëa Cufaj, Ermis Lafazanovski, Srđa Pavlovića, Andra Pisac and Žarko Paić. The fact that a bus full of philosophy students arrived in Pula just because of the Balkans testifies to the attractiveness of the topic. 

This year, for the first time in Pula, a gathering of publishers and authors from Southeastern Europe was organized. It was initiated by the prominent German foundation S. Fisher Stiftung, whose large delegation, along with the delegation of the Leipzig Book Fair, stayed in Pula for a few days. The media conference of the Fair's German friends will be remembered by the announcement of a three-year cooperation between Leipzig and Croatia, to start in March 2008, and the founding of the international circle of Book Fair(y)'s friends that encompassed German, Austrian, Croatian, Bosnian and other guests.

The cooperative program between the Book Fair(y) in Istria and the Festival of Storytelling Pričigin from Split gathered around ten storytellers and a hundred visitors over the course of two days. 

The second edition, or 0.2 Festival Polis-Jadran Europa lasted for three days; American-Croatian author Josip Novaković taught a creative writing course, and thirteen Cyclopes were awarded in the Rock Club Uljanik.


14th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: Literary Nomads

4th – 11th December 2008
House of Croatian Defenders

The grand opening of the 14th Book Fair(y) in Istria entailed a performance directed by Matija Ferlin, with the participation of Ivana Roščić, Roberta Milevoj, Andrea Gotovina, and Kazuhiro Tamari.

A new literary manifestation, the Festival of Children's Literature Monte Librić, was inaugurated and held parallelly with the Book Fair(y). At Monte Librić, more than 50 publishers displayed the largest selection of children's books by that day, and most prominent Croatian children's books' authors told their stories to the children who visited the Festival.

Moreover, a new program, titled Authors from the Neighbourhood, was created to bring together the authors and publishers from the region, concretely from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia. Along with the 50 publishers from the abovementioned countries, 250 Croatian publishers displayed 18,500 book titles at the Fair.  

Two exhibitions took place at the Pula's Forum Square – the exhibition by Mirko Ilić, world-renowned Croatian designer, Paul Buckley, the art director of Penguin Books, and Ingsu Liu, the art director of W. W. Norton Books & Co., and the exhibition of 50 most beautiful American books selected by the AIGA (the oldest and largest American designers' association), titled The Factory of Beautiful Books. Along with the inaugural presentation of the project BetWeen by the musician Darko Rundek, the Croatian premiere of the movie The Tour by the Serbian film director Goran Marković took place at the Pula's Fair. 

The highlight of the Fair, expectedly so, was the Cyclops Award Ceremony, which took place on 10th December at the Hotel Histria.


15. Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Pula In the Orbit

4th – 13th December 2009
House of Croatian Defenders

The cancellation of the main sponsor just three weeks before the opening and the grave financial crisis of the Book Fair(y) that followed left a deep mark on one of the most significant cultural manifestations in Istria and Croatia. A large number of small companies, private persons, and authors donated their services and participated pro bono at the Fair, such as Livio Morosin and Vlado Kreslin, who performed at the opening of the Fair, whilst Morosin also wrote the Fair's anthem.

The Fair was officially proclaimed open by the Argentinian writer with a Canadian passport, the great Alberto Manguel, the author of the famous A History of Reading, who presented the most recent translation of his book The Library at Night within the scope of the program titled Twilight Reading. This year, more than 300 publishers from Croatia and the region participated in the commercial part of the Fair. 

During the ten days of the Fair, 66 programs took place, two of them being especially significant. The main focus of The Librarians' Weekend was the 60th anniversary of the founding of the University Library in Pula. The program Pula in the Orbit created by Dragan Živadinov marked the International Year of Astronomy, the 140th anniversary of the founding of Pula Observatory, and the 80th memorial anniversary of Herman Potočnik Noordung, the pioneer of astronautics who was born in Pula.

The Cyclops Award Ceremony for the year 2009 took place at the grand stage of the main hall of the House of the Croatian Defenders in a manner more modest than the previous years. The Lifetime Achievement Award, founded this year, was given by the Association Book Fair(y) in Istria on the suggestion of the Cyclops Menagerial Bord to Professor Aleksandar Flaker.

The second edition of the Festival of Children's Literature Monte Librić once again took place parallel to the Fair. The whole first floor of the House of Croatian Defenders was transformed into the festival grounds, while one had to pass through a dark and magical tunnel to enter the treasury of words, pictures, and imagination.


16th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: Book&Film

3rd – 12th December 2010
House of Croatian Defenders

Literature and film have many points of intersection, what was presented at the 16th Book Fair(y) in Istria – from the parallel analysis of the literary works and their film adaptations to the presentation of authors that had significant achievements and simultaneously worked in both fields, the revalorization of screenplays and screenwriters and their inclusion in the literary milieux, writings and experiences of film directors, actors, camerapeople, stuntpeople, the monographs of the directors…

At the Fair, 250 publishers displayed almost 22,000 titles, while German actress and director Maria Schrader and Israeli writer Zeruya Shalev – who had the honor to officially proclaim the Fair open – were the special guests of the Fair, symbolizing its central theme titled Book&Film.

Within the scope of the Book Fair(y), a record number of 109 events took place, with the participation of 155 guests. Apart from the Cyclops Award Ceremony, the Festival of Children's Books Monte Librić and the Festival Polis-Jadran-Europa took place. Until that day, no other theme of the Fair neither permeated all the Fair's segments in such a spontaneous manner nor gave rise to so many new programs as Book & Film

On the suggestion of the Cyclops Award Managerial Board, the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to the historian Slavko Goldstein. 


17th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: Identity (of) Drama

2nd – 11th December 2011
House of Croatian Defenders

At its 17th edition, the Book Fair(y) in Istria hosted more than 200 publishers who displayed more than 15,000 books, while 250 guests appeared in seventy-some programs, thus justifying the title "authors' fair“. The central theme of the Fair, The Identity (of) Drama, permeated almost all the Fair's segments, in a way similar to the theme Book&Film.

On the 1st of December, the Fair opened its gates to the local librarians who were the first visitors to see the newest offer of the Croatian publishers. 

Two significant anniversaries were marked at the Pula Festival of Books and Authors - the fiftieth anniversary of Ivo Andrić's acceptance in the circle of Nobel Prize laureates, and the thirtieth memorial anniversary of the bard of Croatian Literature, Miroslav Krleža.

At the museum-gallery space Sacred Hearts, at the top of De Ville Street, on the last day of the 17th Book Fair(y) in Istria, on the 11th of December 2011 at noon, the Cyclops Award Ceremony for the year 2011 took place. The Cyclops Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Predrag Matvejević. 


18th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: Mediterranean: Black and White Seas

30th November – 9th December 2012
House of Croatian Defenders

For the first time in history, the Pula Festival of Books and Authors centered around the topic of Mediterranean – Black and White Seas had a "night opening“. The Minister of Culture, Andrea Zlatar Violić, reminded the audience that Pula – for an apparent reason – was a candidate for the World Book Capital. Turkish writers Ayfer Tunç and Ece Temelkuran made a toast and pointed out that "the nations are brought together mainly through culture and art“.

The multi-layered program of the Fair entailed both the events dedicated to the central theme and those that render it the most significant literary event in this part of Europe: Mediterranean – Black and White Seas: Turkey and Italy, The Other Coast/ L’altra Costa, Sea Thieves, Berti's Program: Love at Second Sight, Authors From the Neighbourhood, Book Fair(y) in the Library, The Invisible Book, A Talk Behind the Curtain, Unearthed Istria, Twilight Reading…

That year, the largest number of foreign authors participated in the Fair, 25 from 8 countries. Along with the Turkish (Ece Temelkuran, Ayfer Tunç, Nedim Gürsel, Murat Uyurkulak), Italian (Jole Zanetti, Claudio Magris, Giorgio Pressburger, Luca Doninelli, Enrico Palandri), and regional authors from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, the authors from Portugal, Hungary and Austria visited Pula. 

On the last day of the 18th Book Fair(y) in Istria, the Cyclops Award Ceremony for the year 2012 took place. The Cyclops was awarded in 13 categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award given to Mirko Kovač. 

19th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Themes: Socialism on the Bench, A Trip to Russia, Vojvodina – A Region Within the Region

5th – 15th December 2013
House of Croatian Defenders

The fact that the 19th Book Fair(y) in Istria – Pula Festival of Books and Authors occurred - as the natural order of things requires - between the one in which the Fair reached adulthood and the jubilee, the twentieth one, does not mean that it served as a reminder or an announcement. For this reason, or to be more exact, this being one of the reasons, the Fair had not one, but three central themes: Socialism on the Bench, A Trip to Russia, and Vojvodina – A Region Within the Region, while its programmatic course was marked by the scientific-theoretical discussions held at the International Scientific Conference “Socialism at the Bench“, International Conference “Publishing: Trends and Contexts” and Fellowship “Book Society”. More than 200 guests participated in more than 80 events, while 250 Croatian and foreign publishers displayed 15,000 book titles. 

Another award was established that year: the so-called "readers' award“ that bore the name of legendary Pula roentgenologist, Esperantist, polyglot, but above all - a genuinely great reader and a book devotee, Dr. Ivo Borovečki. 

Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Tatyana Tolstaya, Alexander Genis, Oleg Kashin, Sergey Biryukov, Tonko Maroević, Zvonko Maković, Nadežda Čačinovič, Vladislava Goridić-Petković, Slobodan Tišma, Lásló Végel, Želimir Žilnik, Miljenko Jergović, Ivan Lovrenović, Milana Vlaović, Mirjana Dugandžija, Luko Paljetak, Ahmet Ümit, Flavio Soriga, and Ivo Štivičić are just some of the authors that marked this edition of the Fair. The Cyclops Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to Milivoj Solar. 


20th Book Fair(y) in Istria
Pula Festival of Books and Authors

Theme: 1914

4th – 14th December 2014
House of Croatian Defenders

In the year that marked the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, the jubilee 20th Book Fair(y) in Istria was dedicated to the unfortunate 1914, the year that showed how short and bloody the 20th century be, but also marked the peak of the urban development of Pula. During the eleven days of the Fair, the central theme, in all of its complexity, was explored through 100 events – promotions of books and authors, round tables, panel discussions, specialist congresses, exhibitions, performances, film screenings, and concerts. 

The genre in focus was the ninth art – the comic books, while the central theme of the Fair, for the first time in a direct, immediate manner, rendered Pula - once the largest military harbor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – a focal point, explored from culturological, sociological, anthropological, urbanistic angles. 

Naturally, Sarajevo – the city that went in the history of human civilization because of the year 1914 – was one of the inevitable subjects. Mostly young Bosnian-Herzegovinian authors who live abroad yet constantly refer to their homeland in their literary works were presented. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was discussed, in a critical and scientific manner, at panel discussions, round tables, lectures, book promotions, and presentations of magazines, books, and collections of papers. 
Although this year marked the jubilee of the Fair, the focal point of this edition was not the continuity, but the inventiveness in the field of program formats the Fair is known for, such as Breakfast With the Author, Berti's Program – Love At Second Sight, Twilight Reading, A Talk Behind the Curtain, Unearthed Istria, Author Reads Author, Black and White Seas and The Other Coast/ L'altra costa, while the International Conference „Publishing: Trends and Contexts“ was dedicated to the digital authors and electronic books. 

In the salons of the House of Croatian Defenders, around 300 Croatian and foreign publishers displayed more than 15,000 titles that could be seen and purchased by almost 80,000 visitors.