Today I was in St. Paul, Minnesota, participating in the Twin Cities Book Festival as a book exhibitor, using my business name, Africonexion.
The Twin Cities Book Festival is annual event which has traditionally been held at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. This year, the venue was the State Fairgrounds in nearby St. Paul.
As usual, many people came to the Festival: book lovers, book sellers, publishers, educators and members of the general public. There were people of all ages.
I arrived at the Festival a little late, but that was not a problem. I quickly set up my table and started talking with people who stopped by. I remember, for example,
two families who came separately to my table. In the course of our conversation, they said they were from Bemidji, a town further north from
the Twin Cities. I told them I have been there, and that
Bemidji is a special place for me as great fan of Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway's fourth wife, Mary Walsh, was from Bemidji. I also told them that Hemingway and Mary
traveled together to East Africa, staying there a few months, in
1953-1954. I went further, saying that I seem to be always reading or thinking about Hemingway. I showed them Leicester Hemingway's My Brother, Ernest Hemingway, which I had with me today.
I talked with many people sharing much with them and learning from them. There was, for example, a gentleman from the Pathfinder Press. We talked about the work of the Press, about which I have known for many years. We talked about Cuba's role in the liberation of southern Africa, and the relationship between Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro. I bought a book about the "Cuban Five," which I am eager to start reading.