Jostein Gaarder at Cuba Book Fair


Jostein Gaarder at Cuba International Book Fair 2009, photo source: Juventud Rebelde Newspaper
Jostein Gaarder at Cuba International Book Fair 2009, photo source: Juventud Rebelde Newspaper

HAVANA TIMES, February 18- Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder, best known for his book Sophie’s World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy, is in Havana for the 18th Cuba International Book Fair.

In an encounter with the press and the public, Gaarder said that in his book The Solitare Mystery (1990), -whose Cuban edition was presented at the Fair- he maintains that all people are born full of questions and as they grow up they forget this eagerness to discover mysteries, although the curiosity still lives inside them.

“We shouldn’t do what we don’t want others to do to us. It’s time to begin to regulate not only human rights but also human duties,” said Gaarder.

Cuba International Book Fair 2009, photo by Caridad
Cuba International Book Fair 2009, photo by Caridad

The author suggested the figure of Ernesto “Che” Guevara as an example for young people to follow and stated his interest in life in Cuba, whose people he called harmonious despite the economic limitations. He added: “I’ve asked myself many times who is happier, a Cuban in Cuba or a Cuban in Florida?”

Cuban writer Reinaldo Gonzalez asked Gaarder if Norwegian children have the opportunity to read Cuban authors.

The Norwegian responded: “I must say that we’ve been so busy in exporting our literature that we forgot to import others. Therefore I know nothing about the quality of Cuban children’s literature, although I am aware of your music and your cinema. Nonetheless, I think it would be a good idea to take back Cuban books with me to my country.”

Click on the thumbnails to see all the photos in the  International Book Fair 2009 gallery

One thought on “Jostein Gaarder at Cuba Book Fair

  • If there are any high school teachers out there, I recommend Gaarder’s SOPHIE’S WORLD. I used it back in the 1990’s, and it had a remarkable effect upon my students, some of whom trace their understanding of and love for philosophy to this book. It is a catalyst. I would love to have attended the Havana Book Fair and spoken to Gaarder. All the more reason to book a vacation to coincide with next year’s festival.


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