While the renowned book fair – the largest in Italy and the second-largest in Europe – won’t take place in the streets of Turin as in previous years, literature lovers will still get a taste of what would’ve been.

As event organisers eagerly await the right conditions to hold the regular edition whenever possible, they’ve conceived a special edition involving the very best minds of the world, which will take place completely online from May 14 to 17.

A rich program of live-streamed events will be shared on the fair’s website and social channels, as well as by its major media partner, Italy’s state broadcasting company Rai.

Salone Extra will feature over 50 conversations with international and Italian authors, actors, philosophers, musicians and scientists to discuss their work and how their views are holding up against this global emergency.

The event will showcase a unique blend of familiar and emerging voices, with a strong take on sustainable economics, new ecologies, climate change, artificial intelligence, feminism, the resistance of translation and the poetics of space.

As Italy was shockingly hit by coronavirus, with the third-highest death toll in the world, the events are dedicated to those who have died and their families, along with all the essential workers and medical professionals who have kept the country together during this difficult time.

The theme picked by the fair’s director, Nicola Lagioia, and the editorial committee for this year’s regular edition was Altre forme di vita (Other forms of life).

This theme will still characterise the virtual edition of the fair, and is now more relevant than ever.

Turin, and all of Italy, will be a reference point for literary lovers who consider books as a way to imagine a better future.

Most events are open to an English-speaking audience, with Italian subtitles provided.

Selected events in Italian will be subtitled in English.

Special guests to participate in the event include:

  • André Aciman
  • Hoda Barakat
  • Roberto Calasso
  • Javier Cercas
  • Jared Diamond
  • Jovanotti
  • Annie Ernaux
  • Amitav Ghosh
  • Donna Haraway
  • Dacia Maraini
  • David Quammen
  • Carlo Rovelli
  • Salman Rushdie
  • Roberto Saviano
  • Ahdaf Soueif
  • Joseph Stiglitz
  • Ocean Vuong