The Frankfurt Book Fair, which this year celebrates the 70th edition, begins today with the presence of 7,100 exhibitors, including 49 Portuguese, and with Georgia as a guest country.
It is considered one of the biggest book fairs in the world, “very important from an editorial point of view and with a long tradition,” says Patrícia Severino, cultural advisor to the Portuguese Embassy in Germany.
In this 70th edition, Portugal is represented with its national stand, coordinated by the Portuguese Association of Publishers and Booksellers and by the General Direction of Books, Archives and Libraries. In total there are 49 national exhibitors.
But there is also a gamble that began in 2016, which consists of “bringing the authors back to the Frankfurt Book Fair, from which they have been away for many years,” says the director of Camões Berlin.
“Two years ago, the writer Patrícia Portela was at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and at the time, it was concluded that for the past 16 years there had been no Portuguese authors at that fair. market, with the purchase and sale of rights, on the other hand, being a book fair, we consider that it is important for the authors to be present because without them there are no books “, emphasizes Patrícia Severino.
“In this edition will be present Isabela Figueiredo, who is the author who will be in literary residence here in Germany, Kalaf Epalanga, which is based here in Berlin and travels with us for a conversation about the Portuguese language, and Brazilian author João Paulo Cuenca, who also joins us on October 13. On the other hand, on the 12th, we joined the TFM bookstore, which is a space of literature dedicated to the Portuguese language, where we make a presentation of the books of these two authors, ” the cultural attaché of the Portuguese Embassy in Berlin.
In 2021 Portugal will be the guest country of the Leipzig Book Fair. The goal, says Patrícia Severino, is to carry out “a continuous work over the next three years, to anticipate this moment.”
One of the examples of this work is a special edition of Jornal de Letras, which will be presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair, dedicated to José Saramago and the 20th anniversary of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
“This edition highlights, on the one hand, this moment so important for the history of Portuguese literature, on the other hand, it is a protection that fits the initiative ‘Portugal – invited country of the Leipzig Book Fair 2021.’ in the coming years two annual editions, one at the Leipzig Book Fair, the other at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the purpose of which is to have a structured information vehicle on Portuguese-language literature that will be circulating in Germany, “he explains. the director of Camões Berlin.
In 2017 the Frankfurt Book Fair registered more than 286 thousand visits and 400 events. This year marks the 70th anniversary. It starts today and ends next Sunday.