London Book Fair / Authors of the Day

The London Book Fair is delighted to announce bestselling authors Claire Tomalin, Boris Akunin and Julia Donaldson with illustrator Axel Scheffler, as the Authors of the Day for 2011. This popular initiative, introduced in 2006, will see the authors each spend one day at the Fair, where they will showcase their work across a programme of seminars, book signings, events and photo opportunities.

MONDAY 11th APRIL – Claire Tomalin

The opening day of the Fair will feature Claire Tomalin, the author of highly acclaimed biographies including Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Pepys, Mary Wollstonecraft and Katherine Mansfield. Her latest book, Charles Dickens: A Life will be published by Viking in October 2011, for the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Claire Tomalin said: “The British have been enthusiastic about biography since Shakespeare wrote his plays based on the lives of historical kings and queens. Since then Boswell’s Johnson and Mrs Gaskell’s Charlotte Brontë are two classic examples, and today biography is more popular than ever. I am proud to be representing it at The London Book Fair, and look forward to meeting international colleagues and friends.”


The London Book Fair Market Focus Author of the Day has been supported by the British Council, and this year features Boris Akunin, one of the most widely read authors in Russia. Boris Akunin has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin novels have sold over eighteen million copies in Russia alone. The final book in the series, The Diamond Chariot, was one of the fastest selling Russian books of all time, and will appear in English in September.

Boris Akunin said: “I dream of an epoch when the main item of Russian export will be not oil and gas, but literature and culture. Every little step on this stairway to heaven is welcome. For me as an author of crime fiction it’s an honour and a privilege to be a guest of The London Book Fair, because this is the magic place where the genre was born, this is where Sherlock Holmes played his violin and Hercules Poirot waxed his moustache.”

WEDNESDAY 13TH APRIL – Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-selling children’s picture book is an international publishing phenomenon with over 4 million copies sold worldwide and has been translated in to over 30 languages. Since its publication in March 1999 their creation has won over a legion of fans and won numerous awards. 2009 saw The Gruffalo’s tenth anniversary marked with a celebratory publishing programme and the broadcast of a much-anticipated film.

Julia Donaldson said: “I am delighted to be Children’s Author of the Day on the 40th anniversary of The London Book Fair, and am especially looking forward to meeting some of the overseas publishers. I’m hoping to try out some of my rusty foreign languages, though I know everyone will actually be brilliant at English. The drinks receptions sound pretty good too!”

Axel Scheffler said: “I’ve been to over 40 book fairs over the years in Frankfurt, Bologna, Gothenburg, Warsaw and Taipei, but I’ve never been chosen to be a Children’s author/illustrator of the day and I feel very honoured and excited that’s it’s at The London Book Fair.”

Alistair Burtenshaw, Group Exhibition Director, The London Book Fair, said: “The Author of the Day programme is one of the key linchpins of the Fair, and we are delighted to welcome authors of such huge national and international acclaim. Claire, Boris, Julia and Axel represent a wonderful breadth of publishing genres and we are very fortunate to be able to showcase authors who command such tremendous respect on the global publishing stage. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate The London Book Fair’s 40th anniversary year!”


For further information about The London Book Fair 2011, please contact Tracey Jennings, Midas Public Relations:

tel: 020 7361 7860

email: [email protected]