Gothenburg Book Fair today proudly unveils its latest prestigious Guests of Honour for the 2027 edition of the Book Fair: Flanders and the Netherlands.
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Press release 4 April 2024
Flanders and the Netherlands named Guests of Honour at Gothenburg Book Fair 2027
Gothenburg Book Fair today proudly unveils its latest prestigious Guests of Honour for the 2027 edition of the Book Fair: Flanders and the Netherlands. With the Leipzig Book Fair having recently highlighted this vibrant region, the organisers of Gothenburg Book Fair are thrilled to introduce it to a Nordic audience, a couple of years ahead. The announcement, made at Leipzig Book Fair, was accompanied by the presence of Book Fair Director Frida Edman, who participated in a signing event.
Flanders and the Netherlands share a close linguistic and cultural bond, with the Dutch language serving as a cornerstone of their relationship. This shared heritage has fostered cultural exchange and collaboration, making them natural choices as Guests of Honour at literary events like the Gothenburg Book Fair.

– We are absolutely thrilled about this partnership, as it not only celebrates rich cultural and literary connections between Flanders and the Netherlands showcasing the significant contributions of both regions to the world of art, literature and democratic values but actually intertwine with the history of Gothenburg in remarkable ways, says Frida Edman, Book Fair Director, expressing enthusiasm for the profound intersection of heritage and collaboration.

Gothenburg originally had three official languages: Swedish, German and Dutch. The city was literally built by the Dutch, leaving a lasting imprint on its infrastructure and architecture. Their expertise in urban planning and engineering contributed to the construction of Gothenburg’s network of canals, bridges and harbour facilities. Today, both Flanders and the Netherlands and Gothenburg share the environmental challenges of rising water levels, a shared concern that underscores the importance of collaboration and knowledge exchange in developing effective solutions for sustainable urban development and climate resilience.

The announcement was made at the same time as Flanders and The Netherlands were Guests of Honour at the Leipzig Book Fair where Frida Edman, Paul Hermans (director Flanders Literature) and Romkje de Bildt (director Dutch Foundation for Literature) formally signed the agreement.

– We are very excited to return to Gothenburg after 30 years. The invitation from the Gothenburg Book Fair provides us with a wonderful opportunity to introduce a remarkable and committed new generation of authors who demonstrate the depth and diversity of our literature across all genres. The fair is the ideal platform to create a new impetus for the cooperation between our regions and to deepen the exchange with readers from Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia, says Paul Hermans, director Flanders Literature. 

– During the Leipzig Book Fair, we have once again noticed the importance of literature and translation for a vital culture and democracy. With the Gothenburg Book Fair 2027, we are excited to strengthen our international bonds, explore the literary exchange between our countries and celebrate our common love for literature. There are many new and exciting Dutch literary voices – within and outside the book – that we are eager to share with Swedish readers and publishers, says Romkje de Bildt, director Dutch Foundation for Literature.

The partnership aims to celebrate the rich connections shared between Flanders and the Netherlands and Sweden to foster lasting collaboration and enhance the visibility of literature from Flanders and the Netherlands in Sweden, and vice versa. The two regions have been in focus in Gothenburg once before, in 1997.

Gothenburg Book Fair is a book fair, literary festival and professional conference and one of the most significant cultural events in Northern Europe, attracting more than 80,000 visitors and participants from 40 countries annually. It is arranged in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, at the end of September.

Flanders and the Netherlands are two culturally rich regions in Europe, each with its own unique identity and contributions to literature, art and history. Flanders, located in the northern part of Belgium, has a population of about 6.8 million people, living in a highly urbanized area with historically and culturally important cities such as Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. The Netherlands, with a population of 17.9 million people, lies for a large part below sea level and is known for its cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.

Since 2020, almost 50 originally Dutch-language literary titles have been published in Swedish, and many more translations are on their way.

Classic Dutch language novels from authors such as Hugo Claus, Harry Mulisch and Hella Haase have been translated in Sweden – and worldwide. In recent years, both in the Netherlands as in Flanders a new, politically engaged and opinionated new generation has emerged. Topics like climate change, racism and gender inequality are visible in their novels, poetry and non fiction works. Authors like Lize Spit, Lucas Rijneveld, Stefan Hertmans, Caroline de Gruyter and Eva Meijer – all published in Sweden – are the literary voices of today. In children's literature, Bart Moeyaert (who won the 2019 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) and Anna Woltz are important authors, whose work is being published in many countries, including Sweden.

Flanders Literature and the Dutch Foundation for Literature will be responsible for the regions’ collective presence that will include a delegation of authors.

The ambition is that the themed focus in Gothenburg and the cultural and literary exchange will lead to more translations, establishing and expanding a significant cultural exchange between Sweden, Flanders and the Netherlands.

Gothenburg Book Fair 2027 will be arranged 26 – 29 September.
Gothenburg Book Fair in brief 
Gothenburg Book Fair is the largest cultural event in the Nordic region and will take place from 26 – 29 September in 2024, at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. Our vision is to create tingling sensations in the soul by offering the most thought-provoking experience of the year. By promoting reading, education, and the role of literature in society, we strive to make the world a better place. The seminar program will be presented in Stockholm and Gothenburg on May 28th. This year’s themes are Sápmi and Space. The cultural institution Tjállegoahte and the Sami writer associations Girječálliid Searvi are the 2024 Guest of Honour at the Book Fair. In 2024, we also celebrate 40 book fairs – 40 years of tingling sensations in the soul. Learn more about Gothenburg Book Fair at
About Flanders Literature
Flanders Literature is an autonomous government institution that aims to facilitate a widely accessible literary landscape and to ensure better visibility for literature from Flanders, both at home and abroad. Abroad we focus on promoting the best literary works created in our region. We offer translation grants for foreign publishers to encourage translations and we offer travel grants to festivals and publishing houses that want to invite authors or illustrators to promote their work. In Flanders we offer grants for authors, illustrators and translators across the literary spectrum. We support literary organizations, publishers, and projects promoting reading and diversity in literature, as well as attempting to connect the many players in the Flemish literature field.
About the Dutch Foundation for Literature
The Dutch Foundation for Literature has the task of supporting writers and translators, and of promoting Dutch literature abroad. It invests in the quality and diversity of Dutch literature through grants for writers, translators, publishers and festivals, and contributes to the production and distribution of Dutch and Frisian literature both at home and abroad. With the support of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, it aims to promote a thriving literary climate, embedded in literary history and attuned to the latest developments in the publishing industry.
For more information, please contact 
Maria Rogstad Norberg  
Communications Director 
+46 722 11 93 39 
Press photos
Please click on a thumbnail or link to download a full-size press photo. Note that all photographers should be credited.

Paul Hermans, Frida Edman, Romjke de Bildt/Photo: Gert Mothes

Frida Edman/Photo: Niklas Pohl
Gothenburg Book Fair 2023/Photo: Niklas Maupoix

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