The landing of Spain at the Frankfurt Fair will have 175 authors and a budget of 12 million euros

Spain will be the guest country at the great event of the international book market to be held in autumn in Frankfurt, one year later than originally planned and 31 since the country was distinguished by the great publishing fair of the German city. “We started preparing it in 2019 and the work to promote the translation of titles by Spanish authors has exceeded expectations,” explained the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, at the press conference held this Thursday at the Goethe Institut headquarters Madrid to present the program.

More than 400 books by Spanish authors are now available in German, thanks in part to an aid program that has amounted to 800,000 euros. In total, the budget allocated to this trip of Spanish literature to the German city amounts to 12 million euros, according to the minister, who stressed that more than an expense, this item should be understood as a bet. “We want to take full advantage of this opportunity and give it our all.”

Parity and representation, both of all literary genres and of literature in all languages, is one of the pillars of the program in which “more than 200 people who will represent us” will participate, Iceta announced, specifying that there will be 175 invited authors in addition to other professionals from the sector. Far away are controversial experiences like the one in 2007 when Catalonia was the guest country and chose to leave out the Catalan authors who write in Spanish. “The promotion of all languages ​​is a State mission, and this program for Frankfurt would be inconceivable without incorporating all languages. We want to show everything, move forward and surprise”, stressed the minister.

The bibliodiversity that encourages the coexistence of large publishing groups together with small independent labels, and the role that Spain plays as a bridge with Latin America are also contemplated in the programming, which has not wanted to leave out other expressions of “overflowing creativity” either. motto that heads the planned activities—such as gastronomy.

Elvira Marco, curator of the project, spoke of the “time of cherries”, the expression used by Carmen Martín Gaite to refer to how some stories lead to others and underlined the desire that in Frankfurt they can “read and listen to all genres in all the languages”. As he explained, the 2,000-square-meter pavilion will offer a different experience every day and 50 conversations will be held on its two stages, with the participation of Ray Loriga, Elizabeth Duval, Cristina Morales, Luis G Martín, Katixa Agirre, Elia Barceló, Ferrán Adriá , Elena Medel, Marina Garcés, Alfredo Sanzol, Maria Hesse, Mahamed El Morabe or Fernando Aramburu, among others. Tributes are also planned for two key figures in the history of the publishing sector, Jorge Herralde and the late Carmen Balcells, as well as two recently deceased authors who are especially loved by the German public, Almudena Grandes and Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

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The director of the Frankfurt Fair, Juergen Boos, explained that the selection of a guest country is based on “those that are important to German readers” and praised the new generations of Spanish authors who “touch on interesting topics with all the available resources”.

Before Irene Vallejo, who will deliver the inaugural speech in October, closed the interventions at the press conference, the president of the publishers’ guild, Daniel Fernández, recalled the Spanish landing in Frankfurt in 1991, “10 years after the coup d’état ” and recalled that in this appointment “it is not only about buying, but also about selling”. Although he does not appear on the program, Fernández warned that there will be “alcoholic nights” and multivitamin juices that allow you to keep up with the meetings at the fair.

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