Guests of Honour Revealed for Budapest's Next International Book Festival

  • 12 Jan 2024 8:43 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Guests of Honour Revealed for Budapest's Next International Book Festival
Icelandic novelist Jón Kalman Stefánsson and France will be the guests of honour at the 29th Budapest International Book Festival to be held from Sept 26 to 29, organisers announced.

Jón Kalman is a world-renowned figure of contemporary Icelandic literature with multiple international accolades to his name, the Hungarian Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Association said in a statement. In 2011, he was awarded the Per Olov Enquist Literary Prize.

In 2017, his novel Fish Have No Feet was nominated for the International Booker Prize, and in 2022, it won France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger for best foreign book. Jón Kalman first attended the Budapest International Book Festival in 2018.

The Budapest International Book Festival, which will be held for the 28th time this year, is a noted event of the international book world, a defining professional and cultural forum of the region. The Book Festival will take place between 28th of September and 1st of October 2023 at Millenáris, Budapest.

This year's Festival awaits its visitors with 140 exhibitors and more than 40 foreign authors at the Millenáris - in the Park, buildings B (Great Hall) and D (Glass Hall), Europa Point and the National Dance Theater.

In addition to popularizing children's books and reading, there will be a separate section for children - called Gyerek(b)irodalom (Children’s Lit Kingdom) - awaiting family visitors in building D, with a wide variety of programs.

From Hungarian Publishers and Booksellers Association:

The Budapest International Book Festival traditionally hosts the world's most prestigious writers and poets. The guest of honour of this year's Festival is the popular American science fiction writer - John Scalzi, who will receive the Budapest Grand Pize from the Mayor of Budapest.

This year, we welcome the Netherlands as the guest of honour country. It is typical of recent years that an exceptionally high number (even in Central Europe) of Dutch books have been published in Hungarian translation, which is also reflected in the slogan of the Dutch pavilion: "on the sea of ​​books".

Visitors to the Book Festival can meet dozens of famous Dutch writers, poets, and illustrators - among them Arnon Grunberg, writer and journalist, author of The Man Without Disease, Abram de Swaan, essayist, sociologist, Martin Michael Driessen, writer, theatre and opera director, and Annamarie Bon, popular youth author. At the guest of honour stand there will be a round table and thematic discussions, book signings and readings.

The Book Festival will be opened by Ildikó Boldizsár, a József Attila Prize winner writer, ethnographer, who is celebrating her 60th birthday this year.

On behalf of the Dutch guest of honourship, Désirée Bonis, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Budapest, and Arnon Grunberg will be addressing the audience. The venue of the opening event will be the National Dance Theatre.

The cooperation between PesText and the Book Festival will continue in 2023: visitors to the Book Festival can also meet the writers coming to the PesText Autumn Literary and Cultural Festival. Unfortunately, for personal reasons, the acclaimed Italian artist Alessandro Baricco cannot be with us this year.

Among the authors participating in the organization of PesText are - among others - Janne Teller, author of the world-famous novel Nothing; Bergsveinn Birgisson, one of the most popular contemporary Icelandic authors; Gwenda Bond, creator of the first Stranger Things novel, Suspicious Minds, and Mathias Énard, winner of the Goncourt Prize.

Two talented young writers are coming to Budapest and visiting the Book Festival: Nicholas Binge from the United Kingdom, who works in the science fiction genre, and Marisha Rasi-Koskinen from Finland, author of The Dark Side of the Sun.

Within the framework of the Book Festival, the European Writers' Meeting will take place on Friday, September 29 at the Europa Point. At the all-day event, we welcome those interested in European literature with round table discussions, they will be able to follow the various themed events with English-Hungarian simultaneous interpretation.

The program of the Writers' Meeting includes - among other things - the round table of Dutch writers (participants: Arnon Grunberg, Roxane Van Iperen, Jamal Ouarachi, Manon Uphoff), and the discussion of European Literature Prize winners (participants: Federico Pedreira, Piia Leino, Peter Karoshi, Anja Mugerli, Richard Pupala).

Every year at the International Book Festival, the Budai Prize is awarded for the book and CD that best supports the upbringing of teens and education in secondary schools. The award was founded in 1994, the donor is the 2cond District of Budapest.

This year the jury consists of teachers from Móricz Zsigmond High School. The award ceremony traditionally takes place on the last day of the Book Festival.

The 28th Budapest International Book Festival offers a multitude of cultural programs with the participation of outstanding representatives of world literature and domestic intellectual life.

Readings, book signings, literary evenings, book premieres, round table discussions, and exhibitions await those interested during the four days of the event. All programs at the exhibition can be visited free of charge.

International Book Festival Budapest

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