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By Sonia Sanchez

One of the greats of Latin American humor, cartoonist Joaquin Salvador Lavado "Quino," creator of the Mafalda comic strip, was a big hit Monday presenting a volume of his work at the 16th International Book Fair underway in Havana.

The cartoonist, part of the Argentine cultural delegation attending the fair, combines humor and social commentary in his popular work. He singed dozens of his books and spoke vividly with his audience.

Quino, a frequent visitor to Cuba, said he was highly impressed by the huge turnout of people interested in reading, especially the children. He added that book fairs are very important for graphic artists because they can establish a dialogue between their work and their readership.

Other publications that drew attention on Monday were two books about Cubas internationalist efforts in Africa in the 1970s and 1980s published by the Verde Olive publishing house: Operacion Carlota by Milton Diaz Canter about the monumental air and boat transportation of Cuban troops to join the fight to defend Angolan Independence and another titled Victoria al sur de Angola (Victory to the south of Angola) by Pedro E. Campos.

Also on Monday, the most recent winners of the Alejo Carpentier Prizes for fiction, essay and short stories were delivered to Alberto Garrandes, Robero Mendez and Aida Bahr respectively; while the Nicolas Guillen Prize for poetry was handed to Ricardo Alberto Perez.

The Argentine delegation announced that famed actress Graciela Dufau would be at a cocktail for poetry at the National Fine Arts Museum on Wednesday evening to celebrate Valentines Day.

Source: Granma

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