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Un festival de literatura más expandida que nunca por la pandemia mundial. 
A festival of literature more expanded than ever because of the global pandemic. Photos: Hola / El País

COVID-19 is the focus of the tenth edition of the Hay Festival in Querétaro

With several Nobel guests, such as the writer Vargas Llosa and activist Malala Yousafzai, this year's Hay will be free and online.

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The COVID pandemic has forced the cultural sector to re-imagine events without large audiences, or rather with a virtual audience. 

The prestigious Hay Festival in Querétaro, the Mexican edition of the British event, is no exception. 

On Tuesday, Aug. 11, Hay unveiled its program and promises to be one of the most diverse, cross-cutting festivals ever organized, and above all, hopeful. However, with literature as the central theme. 

Under the slogan, "Imagine the world together," Hay will have 70 events with important stakes in science and economy, as well as film, music, journalism and human rights. 

With the participation of Nobel laureates such as U.S. economist Paul Krugman, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai — Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2014, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the festival will have the long shadow of COVID-19 and its effects as the great protagonist. 

Therefore, renowned authors such as the writer Elena Poniatowska will dedicate their conferences to the virus and what the post-pandemic society will be like. In addition to the presentation of new releases on the subject, such as the book A day in the life of a virus: from DNA to pandemic, by Spanish physicist Miguel Pita.

Among the literary guests are Nobel Prize winner, Mario Vargas Llosa, who will talk about his new work on Borges; Salman Rushdie, Siri Hustvedt and Paul Auster, and Latin Americans Valeria Luiselli, Mónica Ojeada and Emiliano Monge. 

But also, and taking advantage of some of the benefits of virtuality, Hay will show outstanding talks from previous editions. John le Carré, Olga Tokarczuk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Margaret Atwood will return in the "Classics" section of the Hay Festival, which this year has been awarded, together with the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities for 2020.

Make a note of the event in your agenda and register on the festival website: From Sept. 2 to 7, Hay Querétaro promises to fill your homes with literature and ideas. Could it be that the new normal has its advantages?

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