Leipzig Book Fair with 20,000 new publications
Enlarge image Impression from the 2012 book fair (© Leipziger Messe/Stefan Hoyer) 100,000 books, more than 2,000 publishers from 44 countries, many international writers and Europe’s largest reading festival: the Book Fair is opening its doors in Leipzig on March 15, 2012. The four-day fair is the first major book-trade meeting of the year and a forum for new springtime publications. During the fair the city is expecting around 160,000 visitors. Literature from Eastern Europe, for which the Leipzig Book Fair is a traditionally renowned showcase, will again be a key focus in 2012.
This year’s “tranzyt” project is presenting a rich literature scene with works from Poland, the Ukraine and Belarus. “Our aim with the ‘tranzyt’ project is to make new, interesting writers from Central and Eastern Europe accessible to a broader public and to promote the publication of their works by German publishing houses,” says Oliver Zille, Director of the Leipzig Book Fair. Guests in Leipzig include the writers Andrzej Stasiuk from Poland, Svetlana Alexijewitsch from Belarus and Yuri Andrukhovych from the Ukraine who was the winner of the 2006 Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding.
Distinguished German and international writers have also been invited to Europe’s largest reading festival “Leipzig liest”. These popular reading events offer a welcome opportunity for writers and readers to meet, when they take place at around 350 venues throughout the city. The Georg Büchner Prize winners Martin Walser and Friedrich Christian Delius, Péter Nadas from Hungary, Zeruya Shalev from Israel and the American writer David Guterson have said they are coming. And the Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, who now lives in exile in Berlin, will take part in a discussion at the University of Leipzig.
Excitement is rising as the day of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize approaches. There are 15 hopeful writers in the running for this year’s award which will be presented on March 15 in the three categories “fiction”, “non-fiction” and “translation”. In the run-up to the jury’s official decision, Internet users have already been casting their votes for their favourites in the category “fiction”: the definite darling of the public in the online vote is Wolfgang Herrndorf with his current work “Sand”.