The National Book Festival has unveiled yet another intriguing character from its official poster—meet Mia s-Semmiegħa (Mia the Listener). Unlike traditional bibliophiles, Mia loves orally-narrated stories, underscoring the festival’s commitment to celebrating all forms of literature, not just the written word.
Oral storytelling has a rich, historical lineage that predates the written word. It has long been a medium through which people have passed down their history, cultural narratives, and wisdom. Mia’s character symbolizes this timeless fascination with spoken tales, emphasizing that while books remain at the festival’s core, other modes of literary engagement will also be highlighted.
The festival is set to be an eclectic gathering that goes beyond traditional book readings. Have you ever experienced the narrative power of a musical adaptation of a literary text, an audiobook, or a literary podcast? All of these forms share a common origin in literature, offering different avenues for literary engagement.
If you are a book enthusiast, an aspiring writer, or simply someone intrigued by new ways to experience literature, mark your calendars. The National Book Festival is scheduled to run from October 18 to 22 at the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre (MFCC) in Ta’ Qali. The program promises a diverse range of activities, from poetry readings and live podcast sessions to musical-literary concerts. Festival-goers can also look forward to books that come with their own audio versions, provided by some of this year’s exhibitors.