Spain’s appearance features strong voices and linguistic diversity
This year’s Guest of Honour presents its varied literature at Frankfurter Buchmesse | Delegation of 200 to travel to Frankfurt | Spanish royal couple will visit the fair | Irene Vallejo and Antonio Muñoz Molina to speak at Frankfurter Buchmesse opening ceremony | Programme showcases multilingualism and diversity | Strong female voices | Cultural programme in the city
Spain’s abundant creativity at Frankfurter Buchmesse
Under the motto “SPAIN – Spilling Creativity”, a 200-member delegation from this year’s Guest of Honour country will travel to the book fair in October. Those coming to Frankfurt will include the country’s most exciting literary voices and creatives, such as Kiko Amat, Elena Medel, Elizabeth Duval, Rosa Montero, Sara Mesa and Fernando Aramburu, who will present their existing works and new titles. By the end of the year, over 400 books will have appeared on the German-language market since 2019 to mark Spain’s appearance as Guest of Honour.
“We are delighted that our Guest of Honour this year, Spain, will be presenting its considerable literary and linguistic diversity and all the facets of its creativity at the book fair,” says Juergen Boos, president and CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse. “The country’s multilingualism will play a leading role: in addition to Castilian, one-quarter of the authors coming to Frankfurt write in Catalan, Galician or Basque. Strong female voices will also be present at the fair, thanks to authors such as Cristina Morales, Elvira Sastre, Esther Paniagua and Elena Medel, voices that deal with current topics such as the power of the Internet, the role of women, and the importance of motherhood and relationships in the 21st century. The fair’s visitors will have the opportunity to become better acquainted with Spanish literature, the country’s authors and the socio-political issues that Spain’s creative scene is currently addressing.”
Royal visit from Spain at Frankfurter Buchmesse
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have announced they will visit the book fair in Frankfurt, adding a crowning touch to Spain’s presence at the fair. The royal visit underscores the literary, cultural and political significance of the country’s appearance as Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse.
Irene Vallejo and Antonio Muñoz Molina to speak at opening of Frankfurter Buchmesse
The authors Irene Vallejo and Antonio Muñoz Molina will speak at the opening ceremony of Frankfurter Buchmesse. Vallejo’s book Papyrus (2022, Diogenes), in which she describes the history of the world in books, was an enormous success in Spain and has been translated and honoured many times over. Muñoz Molina is also a multi-award-winning writer and journalist. In 2013, he received the Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras. Most recently, his novels Gehen allein unter Menschen (Penguin, 2021) and Tage ohne Cecilia (Penguin, 2022) have appeared in German.
Programme on the fairgrounds showcases multilingualism and diversity
The Guest of Honour Pavilion, the centrepiece of Spain’s programme at Frankfurter Buchmesse, is being created this year by the Spanish architecture and design studio ENORME from Madrid, together with the design team Vitamin. Its conceptual approach “The Theory of Cherries” originates with Spanish author Carmen Martín Gaite, who has said that stories are like cherries: when you take one, the next follows automatically.
The aim is for the fair’s visitors to become part of Spanish literature and culture for five days: across more than 2,000 sqm, the Guest of Honour Pavilion will offer not only books, readings and exchanges on topics related to the book trade, but also exciting insights into Spain’s creative industry. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the pavilion’s walls will fill up like the pages of an oversized book with words and text fragments heard during the fair, and words will morph into multihued worlds of colour. The pavilion will provide spaces for listening, reading, interacting and relaxing, along with room for quiet reflection. Moreover, the pavilion’s programme will feature major writers of fiction, including Rosa Montero, Arturo Pérez Reverte, Elvira Lindo and Manuel Vilas. Star author Javier Cercas will join Daniel Gascón and José Carlos Llop to talk about “The Past as Fiction” (19 October, 1.00 pm).
In addition to the pavilion, visitors will be able to experience the Guest of Honour country every day of the fair throughout the fairgrounds. More than 320 exhibitors from Spain will be present at the fair. In Hall 4.1 a number of communidades autonomas will have their own stands: the Basque Country, Galicia, Catalonia and Valencia, along with newcomers Asturias and Andalusia. In Hall 3.0, Spanish illustrators will be introducing themselves, and the Valencia World Design Capital will put in an appearance at THE ARTS+. Spain will also be well represented at the agents’ centre (LitAg, Hall 4.2), where the country will have the third largest presence behind the United Kingdom and the United States.
Strong female voices from Spain
Spain’s appearance this year as Guest of Honour will be distinguished by strong female voices. Young authors such as Cristina Morales, Elvira Sastre, Katixa Agirre and Elena Medel will reflect on the role of women, the significance of motherhood, and relationships in the 21st century. Paloma Chen, Nadia Hafid and Margaryta Yakovenko will represent the new literary generation of authors from Asia and Europe, while Ada Salas, Ángela Segovia and Raquel Lanseros will exemplify Spain’s new generation of poets. María Hesse, Núria Tamarit and Elisa McCausland will present graphic and illustrated novels at the fair. Also planned is a tribute to Almudena Grandes.
Literary and cultural programme in Frankfurt showcases Guest of Honour
Spanish authors will also put in appearances beyond the fairgrounds, for example as part of the OPEN BOOKS reading festival, which is focusing on literature from the 2022 Guest of Honour country. A total of three Spanish-themed events will be held at Romanfabrik: from a flamenco evening to a reading by Elvira Sastre. IG Metall will host a discussion with Isaac Rosa, José Ovejero and Rosa Ribas. Frankfurt’s municipal library is cooperating with Weltlesebühne e.V. to offer the workshop “Transparent Translating”, dedicated to the book When I Sing, Mountains Dance by Irene Solà, along with readings in school libraries by Elia Barceló, Aina Bestard, Rocío Bonilla, Patxi Zubizarreta and Jokin Mitxelena. The city’s museums are also showing how Spain spills over with creativity. Exhibitions and events at Frankfurter Kunstverein (Twelve Art Stories Told from Spain), Fotografie Forum Frankfurt (Carlos Pérez Siquier), Portikus, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm and, of course, Instituto Cervantes – all of which showcase this year’s Guest of Honour – will make it possible for visitors to experience Spain while never leaving Frankfurt.
For more information on Spain’s appearance as Guest of Honour:
Frankfurter Buchmesse’s list of new titles provides an overview of works from Spain that have appeared in German since January 2021.