Leipzig Book Fair with bigger area
Huge response for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize; Education focus extended still further: premiere for Careers Day; Leipzig Reads with star cast
The figures look good for the Leipzig Book Fair 2009: 2,135 exhibitors from 38 countries have come to Leipzig this year. The exhibition area has increased by 3.5 per cent to 65,000 square metres (gross). "The entire literary world is on show in Leipzig. It is our intention to support the industry even in economically difficult times and for the fair to give a boost to the book market", says Wolfgang Marzin, CEO, Leipziger Messe GmbH. He also points out that all the major and many small publishing companies from the fiction and non-fiction sectors are at the fair, some have even increased the size of their stands.
For Book Fair director Oliver Zille this is a clear sign "that we are the most important fair for authors in the German-speaking world." This was also clearly reflected in the programme of events: "For years now, Leipzig has been providing the best forum for young German-language literature. This year too, we are backing new, innovative types of events for young publishing companies and for authors as yet undiscovered", says Zille.
programme even more varied than ever
The programme for the fair features more than 1,900 events with around 1,500 authors. The 2009 springtime for books offers eagerly awaited new novels by national and international stars, interesting fiction debuts and many works of non-fiction. Among those coming to Leipzig are Wilhelm Genazino, Günter Grass, Julia Franck, Wladimir Kaminer, Daniel Kehlmann, Alexa Hennig von Lange, Benjamin Lebert, Mirjam Pressler and Juli Zeh.
The total of 200 international authors includes, for example: T. C. Boyle, Péter Esterházy, György Konrád, Geert Mak, Kiran Nagarkar, Olga Tokarczuk, David Lodge, John Griesemer, Petros Markaris and Jonathan Stroud.
There will be reading, discussing, listening or just quiet enjoyment at the more than 300 venues around town. The spectrum of venues extends here from A for "Anker" and B for the "Baumwollspinnerei" to M as in Mona Lisa, N for nato and S for the swimming pool, on through to Z for the zoo. (A selection of venue profiles can be accessed at www.leipzig-liest.de.)
"Leipzig Book Fair Prize" 2009 with huge response
In only five years, the "Leipzig Book Fair Prize" has become a firm fixture for Germany's literary industry. 760 books (2008: 750) were submitted this year. The chairman of the judges, Ulrich Greiner comments on the nominations: "This spring too, the high standard in German publishing production is quite marvellously apparent yet again." Alongside Ulrich Greiner, the other judges are: Ina Hartwig, literary editor at the Frankfurter Rundschau; Elmar Krekeler, director of Literarische WELT; Kristina Maidt-Zinke, writer for the feature section of the Süddetusche Zeitung; Volker Weidermann, editorial director of the feature section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung; Michael Hametner, literary editor at MDR, and Uwe Justus Wenzel, feature section editor at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
The award for the best spring books in the categories "Fiction", "Non-Fiction and Essays" and "Translation" comes with total prize money of 45,000 euros awarded in equal parts. The "Leipzig Book Fair Prize" is supported by the Free State of Saxony and Leipzig City. The Berlin Literary Colloquium (LCB) is a partner, with the weekly "Die ZEIT" as a media partner.
Audio extracts from all titles are available at www.literaturport.de. The public presentation of the prize will be held during the Leipzig Book Fair at 4.00 p.m. on 12 March 2009 in the Glass Hall at the Exhibition Centre.
reading zone for young publishing companies, Leipzig Long Night of Literature
"Leipzig Reads" is not only packed with stars, but is also a forum for the most important up-and-coming talent from the German-speaking world. Young authors and publishing companies that are still insider tips today will be influencing literary business in just a few years' time. At the Leipzig Book Fair, they can already be experienced at close quarters here and now.
For the fourth time, 25 independent publishing companies introduce themselves on their own "Young Publishers Reading Zone", among them Verbrecher Verlag, Voland und Quist, Onkel und Onkel, Lilienfeld, Luftschacht and Blumenbar. On Friday evening, the "Young Savages" host a party in the historical hall of the old main post office, the Hauptpost.
More than 50 young German-speaking authors make the Leipzig Long Night of Literature - L3 for short - a forum for young writers and new German literature. Readings will be given on all the platforms at the Moritzbastei at parallel events starting at 7.00 p.m. through to the early hours of the morning.
audiobooks at the Leipzig Book Fair
The Leipzig Book Fair has been highlighting the audiobook segment since 2000. In the course of these years, what was once a "sideline product" has become firmly established on the mass market, with audiobooks an increasingly expanding sales factor in the book publishing companies' portfolios. This year, more than 100 labels and publishing companies show their latest audiobook products. 100 events are scheduled for the Leipzig Book Fair programme, making this the most important meeting-place for the national audiobook publishing industry. "We are delighted that we are again welcoming all ARD radio broadcasters at the upcoming Book Fair. The successful "Leipzig Listens" series also continues at the Alte Handelsbörse - organised by broadcasters Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk and the magazine FOCUS -, as well as the ARD Radio Night of Audiobooks from 8.05 p.m. to midnight on 13 March", says Book Fair director Oliver Zille. "We are also expanding our audiobook focus with many new projects, such as a big audiobook auction on eBay. 'LEO – the German Audiobook Night' will also be a first for representatives of the industry."
First Balkan evening, "Small Languages - Big Literatures", "Authorial Special Feature"
The literatures of Central and Eastern European countries have traditionally made up another important key focus. After the very successful Croatian appearance last year, Macedonia and Bosnia are in place this year to present their literature for the first time at the Leipzig Book Fair.
As from last year, the Robert Bosch Foundation has been an indispensable partner for the facilitation of literatures from Southeastern Europe. Six authors - including from Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro - have been invited to provide an insight into the literature of their countries.
The highlight of the "Literature from Southeastern Europe" series will be the grand BALKAN NIGHT on Friday in the Kino Cineding, starting at 8.15 p.m. – Jovan Nikolaidis, Arian Leka, Nikola Madžirov, Ana Ristovic and Richard Swartz will be among the guests.
The international series "Small Languages - Big Literatures" was first created by five Berlin cultural insitutes in 2003, and it too continues this year. As the 16 countries taking part, Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Romania, Szwiterland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Cyprus will be in the "Small Languages Forum" to present a cross-section of their contemporary literature.
As part of the "Authorial Special" traditionally organised by the Book Fair in cooperation with the Berlin Literary Colloquium, writers such as György Konrád, Geert Mak and Feridun Zaimoglu will give their highly personal experiences of the fall of the Iron Curtain, with the headline title "1989 - 2009. Where's Europe going?". The "Authorial Special" receives funding from the German Federal Foreign Office.
Learning for life - Leipzig lays down markers in education
With the Children/Youth/Education section it launched in 1998, the Leipzig Book Fair moved early on to link the active promotion of reading to the diverse opportunities offered in practical education work. This year, the fair's programme features around 750 events for children and young people alone. With its extensive range, the Book Fair is one of the biggest and most important events in Germany to offer post-entry career training. "In this way, we hope to make a lasting contribution to the public debate on the future of our children", emphasises Oliver Zille, director of the Leipzig Book Fair. Last year, around 28,000 visitors under the age of 18 came to the fair.
"Books + Media Careers Day"
A new fixture this year is the "Books + Media Careers Day", organised by the Leipzig Book Fair and the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels - German Publishers und Booksellers Association.
Executives from publishing companies and the book trade present interesting career options and are available to talk and answer questions in panel discussions and dialogues that look into opportunities for starting on and developing careers in the book industry. The Careers Day is intended primarily for school leavers and students from technical colleges and universities and is being held on the Friday at the Fair (13 March).
The Leipzig Antiquarian Book Fair and "buch + art" - Art for Books - round off the selection on offer at the Leipzig Book Fair.
Ms Susanne Tenzler-Heusler