Sustainable: Host Countries and Their Transnational Literature Presentation
Thousands of books are translated into German each year, mainly from English, but also from French and Japanese, according to data from the German Publishers & Booksellers Association. The statistics include just a negligible number of other languages.
But there is no such thing as too much insight into other countries, languages, societies and people. A presentation as a host country attracts a lot of media attention and with it visibility to publishers for authors, works and topics. The focus is not just on the literary scene of the respective country or language. The host countries enrich the Leipzig Book Fair program, whether at the trade fair grounds or in the city of Leipzig, with additional music, performances, film art, exhibitions or speciality cuisine.
Previous host countries have surprised many a visitor to the Book Fair with a firework display of literature and culture, delighting the general public. Each host country has been an asset to the Leipzig Book Fair and its guests. Meanwhile, host countries in Leipzig have also been able to build sustainable networks between publishing house representatives, translators, authors, booksellers and event organizers.
From Ahoj Leipzig to Zoom In
Recent years alone have featured the Czech Republic "Ahoj Leipzig" (2019), Romania "Romania. Zoom in" (2018), Lithuania "To Be Continued" (2017), Israel with "1965-2015. Deutschland-Israel" for the celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany, and Switzerland "Auftritt Schweiz" (2014), all using the hundreds of stages at the Leipzig Book Fair and the media to make a major presentation of their literary and cultural scene in the German-speaking world.
Portugal will be the host country in 2021 and will be showcasing Portuguese-speaking authors from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America in Leipzig. We are very excited!