Summarizing the 2022 Gothenburg Book Fair, and presenting themes for the coming year's fair
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27 September 2022 Web version
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Press release 270922
Jewish Culture and The City Focus Themes for The Gothenburg Book Fair 2023
This year’s edition of the Gothenburg Book Fair his over – and didn’t we have an amazing book party? Four days filled with energy and positivity among writers and visitors alike, and countless highlights — among many others a record-breaking signing session with humour group “I just want to be cool”, the world premiere for our Book Fair by Night club, the high demand for distinguished diplomats Staffan de Mistura and Jan Eliasson’s books on conflict and peace negotiation – and last but not least the countless meetings that took place between writers and readers.
After two Pandemic years where the Book Fair Play (our streaming channel) has taken center stage, the Gothenburg Book Fair returned in full swing with a fully filled exhibition area, a solid seminar program, and isles teaming with visitors.
Audience attendance has been good, with 82 156 visits and 7 300 sold digital accesses, this to be compared with 86 132 visits in 2019. The number of events and activities held in publishers’ areas was slightly lower than pre-pandemic numbers, but the mood was one of joy and reconnection. The atmosphere was magical, with a high energy level in seminar halls and exhibition areas. Many seminar halls were full: it is evident that a significant number of visitors had discovered the importance of deeper conversations, not least through the Book Fair Play, launched in 2020 as an effect of the Covid 19 pandemic.  

– I am so proud that we were able to create this Fair the way we know it from before: teaming with visitors in the best of moods, with a great number of authors and seminars filled to the very last chair. We have never been this happy to see the queues line up – outside the main entrance and to signings and seminars. Despite a troubled world, readers have rediscovered the Book Fair, says Frida Edman, Book Fair Director.
– A special thank you goes to South Africa, our Guest of Honour at this year’s Book Fair. We hope that many readers have been granted the opportunity through this focal theme to discover contemporary South Africa; its literature and rich culture, says Oskar Ekström, Program Director for the Gothenburg Book Fair.
– I want to express my genuine appreciation to the Gothenburg Book Fair for the honour they granted us as Guests of Honour and theme country during this year’s fair. It has been a rewarding opportunity, especially for our authors and poets, who were offered the space to share their stories. Through our participation in the Book Fair, we believe that bilateral cultural relations and collaboration between South Africa and Sweden has been strengthened. We look forward to continuing to encourage people to interact with each other through literature, art, and spoken word, says Ms. Nocawe Mafu, Deputy Minister of Sports, Art, and Culture in South Africa.
This year’s focal themes were South Africa, the Climate Crisis, Crimetime, and the specially created theme “Voices from Ukraine.” Preparations are already underway for next year’s Book Fair, which takes place from 28 September to 1 October. During the final press conference for the 2022 Book Fair, the themes for the coming Book Fair were presented. Guest of Honour will be the organisation Judisk kultur i Sverige (Jewish Culture in Sweden) expressed in the focal theme Jewish Culture, with The City as an additional theme.  
The theme Jewish Culture is vast and embodies history, traditions, thinking, texts, music and arts. Jewish literature spans from the Bible to contemporary texts: the poets of Spain's Golden Age such as Ibn Gabirol and Yehuda Ha’Levy, thinkers such as Spinoza, authors in the Yiddish language such as Scholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer; Central and West European authors such as Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin and Hanna Arendt; writers in the shadow of the Holocaust as Primo Levi, Nelly Sachs and Paul Celan, American authors such as Philip Roth, Israeli Authors such as Amos Oz, contemporary authors such as Nicole Krauss and Masha Gessen and of course many Swedish Jewish authors. The 2023 Göteborg Book Fair will give expression to some of these important voices who shaped cultural landscapes. The focal theme will be arranged in collaboration with the organisation Judisk kultur i Sverige (Jewish Culture in Sweden), next year’s Guest of Honour.

– Judisk Kultur i Sverige celebrates ten years this year. To be Guest of Honour at the 2023 Book Fair is a wonderful gift. I am delighted that the Book Fair has elected to place this confidence in us, granting us the opportunity to present a program that reflects Jewish thinking and literature, with a focus on the universal aspects of Jewish culture, says Lizzie Oved Scheja, CEO of Judisk Kultur i Sverige (Jewish Culture in Sweden).
Regarding the Focal theme The City: the city has been a central literary motif since the early days of the novel. With The City as a focal theme, we strive to inspire conversations about the urban environment – not just as a literary location, but as a sanctuary, a place of residence, and an architectural project designed to face the challenges of the future. Arranged in collaboration with, among others, Globala Torget (The Global Square).

Read more at:

For more information, please contact:

Maria Rogstad Norberg,
Director of Communications at the Gothenburg Book Fair
+46 (0)722-119339

Press images
Frida Edman, Book Fair Director, Lizzie Oved Scheja, Judisk kultur i Sverige, Oskar Ekström, Program Director  / Photo: Niklas Maupoix
Lizzie Oved Scheja / Photo: Niklas Maupoix

The Göteborg Book Fair takes place 22–25 September 2022 at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, and at Book Fair Play.
Themes: South Africa, the Climate Crisis, Crimetime and Voices from Ukraine.

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