Naturally, the Guest of Honour’s programme focuses on the five days in October at Frankfurter Buchmesse. The Guest of Honour already makes an important appearance at the fair’s official opening ceremony, with a literary and a renowned political keynote speaker. The Guest-of-Honour pavilion is at the heart of the featured country’s appearance at the fair. Here, the Guest of Honour presents itself through a specially designed exhibition and offers a diverse programme in the integrated event space, with readings, discussions, performances and the popular Happy Hour.
On average, the Guest of Honour brings some 50 authors to Frankfurter Buchmesse. Also on view in the pavilion: the international “Books on …” exhibition, with publications about the Guest of Honour and literary works in translation. Publishers from the featured country are present at the collective stand as well as in various thematic areas of Frankfurter Buchmesse.
Yet, even beyond the fairgrounds, a diverse supporting programme is offered in the city of Frankfurt and other locations. The presence of the Guest of Honour is hardly limited to just the five days of Frankfurter Buchmesse in October and to the featured country’s numerous new releases. Throughout the year of it’s appearance as Guest of Honour, and in particular during the week of theFrankfurter Buchmesse, the featured country brings its cultural highlights to the city: In Frankfurt and the surrounding areas, as well as in many other cities, there are readings; panel discussions on politics, literature and current events; (art) exhibitions; theatre; dance; music; film; performances; literary-culinary nights; professional conventions and parties.
Numerous publishers and cultural institutions take up the Guest-of-Honour theme, integrating titles and contributions into their programme. The Guest of Honour generally takes advantage of this major boost by already participating in other trade fairs and literary and cultural festivals in advance of Frankfurter Buchmesse. Book tours by authors during, before and after the fair also bring the topic into the media throughout Germany. In this way, even before the Guest of Honour’s actual presentation at Frankfurter Buchmesse, a complex picture of the featured country’s literature and culture is conveyed, and curiosity regarding its appearance in Frankfurt is whetted. A total of some 500 events related to the Guest of Honour take place every year, at Frankfurter Buchmesse and beyond.