Gothenburg Book Fair releases the seminar program for 2024, a special milestone marking the 40th edition of the fair.
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JOHAN SANDBERG MCGUINNE (Tjallegoahte, BÁgo), Erik Eje Almqvist, Oskar Ekström, Johan Kollén, Frida Edman, Amanda Lodding. 
Press release 29 May 2024
Gothenburg Book Fair celebrates 40 years with a focus on Sápmi and Space
Gothenburg Book Fair releases the seminar program for 2024, a special milestone marking the 40th edition of the fair. With a focus on themes such as Sápmi and Space, this year's event promises a multifaceted experience for both literature enthusiasts and those drawn to research, science, and societal development. As an exciting addition, a brand-new music track will be introduced, exploring the fascinating intersection between literature and music. Another new feature is a psychology track, which delves into what it means to be human.
300 unique conversations, interviews, and debates were being announced at a press conference in Stockholm, featuring 862 prominent authors, researchers, opinion leaders, and public intellectuals, including 113 international guests from 29 countries. In addition to highlighting authorship and the latest publications, the program also covers current issues such as war, conflicts, history, media, and ideology.

"This year, we're turning 40 and we plan to celebrate! Since its inception, the Book Fair has aimed to stir the soul by being the most inspiring and thought-provoking experience of the year by facilitating unexpected encounters between fascinating guests and readers. The Book Fair acts as a historical archive, reflecting and documenting the major issues and stories of our time. This year's program is no exception, offering an in-depth exploration of current topics that touch and engage," says Frida Edman, Book Fair director.
‘Sjöjungfrun’ - The Mermaid Award to Joyce Carol Oates
In honour of the Gothenburg Book Fair's 40th anniversary, the fair's iconic symbol, the mermaid, takes on new significance as a prestigious literary prize. This award is given to an active author who has touched Swedish readers. The 2024 Mermaid Award goes to Joyce Carol Oates, who first visited the Book Fair in 1987. The prize will be presented during a special seminar and award ceremony on Saturday, September 27, at 11:00 AM. After the Book Fair's program director Oskar Ekström presents the hand-carved mermaid statuette, Joyce Carol Oates will be interviewed by author Karolina Ramqvist.

"In addition to our fantastic star, Oates, we welcome several other prominent international authors and guests, including Hernan Diaz, Maria Stepanova, Chris Whitaker, and Baek Heena. We are also delighted to host several prominent sci-fi authors, including Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton, and Ken MacLeod. This year's program is multifaceted and reflects our contemporary world. It addresses issues of war and conflict, history, media, and ideology, but also encompasses deep conversations and exciting guests from a range of other fields," says Oskar Ekström, program director.

This year's themes: Sápmi and Space
This year’s themes are Sápmi and Space, two topics that illuminate both cultural diversity and scientific advancement. The seminars on Sápmi will delve into Sami culture and literature, history, and identity, while the Space theme will take visitors on a journey through the universe with insights from both prominent researchers and authors.

This year's Guest of Honour: Tjállegoahte
This year's most significant cultural endeavor is the Sápmi Theme, where the Book Fair highlights the rich Sami storytelling tradition. This marks the largest Sami cultural initiative outside Sápmi ever, extending beyond national borders. With 27 seminars and 82 participants, including the esteemed guest Tjállegoahte, who hosts 15 seminars, the theme explores Sami history, literature, and philosophy. The Book Fair also welcomes indigenous guests from other countries to foster new, unexpected encounters. Visitors will be inspired and immersed in a profound storytelling tradition rooted in joik and duodji, Sami craftsmanship.

The Sápmi Theme is organized in collaboration with the cultural institution Tjállegoahte and the Sami author associations Bágo and Sámi Girječálliid Searvi, who are the honored guests of the 2024 Book Fair.

Exploring Space
Space has always served as a catalyst for fantasies, ideas, and questions about our existence and our place in the universe. Yet, space is more than just that! Today, our societies rely on space technology to function, and we find ourselves in the midst of our era's greatest space age, with vast investments in the space industry. With this theme, the Göteborg Book Fair 2024 invites profound conversations: about modern technology, the limits of imagination, and the history and future of our life forms.

This year's Space theme comprises 28 seminars, 11 of which are organized by the Swedish National Space Agency, a partner of the theme. In total, 78 guests participate in the program, which is both broad and multifaceted, bringing together researchers and prominent sci-fi authors to address existential questions. There will be a rich variety of seminars and discussions, ranging from space politics and law to science and science fiction. The program includes discussions where priests, physicists, and astronauts – Marcus Wandt, Christer Fuglesang, Sara García Alonso, and Andreas Mogensen – share their diverse experiences of and fascination with space. Questions like "Are we alone in the universe?" and "Where do we come from?" will also be reflected in the program.

No such thing as a fish
The world's biggest science podcast is coming to Gothenburg Book Fair! After 500 episodes and half a billion downloads, the podcast No Such Thing as A Fish is embarking on a world tour to celebrate ten years since recording their first episode in Covent Garden in London. At the Book Fair, James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray, Anna Ptaszynski, and Dan Schreiber will record a fact-packed live episode.
School and Library
Gothenburg Book Fair has a proud tradition of promoting professional development within education and libraries. This tradition dates back to the Book Fair's origins as a dedicated library fair in 1985. Today, the fair continues to be an important gathering place for teachers and librarians from across the country to come together, network, and participate in a comprehensive program tailored to their professional development.

The professional development program within education and libraries is extensive and covers a variety of topics and themes. Library seminars offer training and insights into the importance of libraries in society. This year, discussions include topics such as staffed school libraries, banned books, and gaming in libraries. Additionally, the entire Book Fair program, with its focus on current releases and literary trends, is also of great interest to librarians, providing them with the opportunity to discover new books and authors.

New music track

That music can be literature has been known long before Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2016. Three musical minutes can provide us with significant literary experiences - from dramatic narratives to dazzling poetry. Now, the Book Fair explores the art of songwriting with the help of fantastic songwriters from various genres, including Miriam Bryant, Mwuana, Olle Jönsson, STOR, Maxida Märak, and ADAAM.
The BookTok phenomenon at the Book Fair
The BookTok phenomenon is here to stay, and this year, the Book Fair has invited influencers such as Ayman Chaudhary, an American influencer with over 900 thousand followers on TikTok, Jack Edwards, a British YouTuber with 1.3 million followers, and over 600 thousand followers on TikTok, as well as Jasmine Darban, a Swedish book influencer with over 40,000 followers on TikTok, who will engage in discussions with Matilda Westermark.

Crimetime celebrates 10 years
Crimetime festival with mystery fiction is back with 15 seminars, celebrating its 10th anniversary by extending Crimetime to Friday with open-stage programs. This year's prominent names include Chris Whitaker and some of the Nordic masters such as Viveca Sten and Catrine Engberg, along with several recurring mystery fiction favorites.
A vital reminder of freedom of speech
Amid the celebration of the anniversary fair, the Book Fair will also remember those who cannot be with us. Dawit Isaak and Gui Minhai both turn 60 but are still imprisoned for expressing their free words. A manifestation will be organized during the Book Fair on the Freedom of Speech stage. Learn more at

Appendix: International Authors at Gothenburg Book Fair 2024
Additional news will be announced gradually leading up to Gothenburg Book Fair.
About Gothenburg Book Fair
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. It was created in 1985. Our vision is to stir 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. This year’s themes are Sápmi and Space. The cultural institution Tjállegoahte and the Sami writer associations Girječálliid Searvi are the 2024 Guest of Honours at the Book Fair. In 2024, we also celebrate 40 book fairs – 40 years of stirring peoples’ souls. Learn more about Gothenburg Book Fair at
For more information, please contact 
Maria Rogstad Norberg  
Head of Communications
+46 722 11 93 39 
Press photos
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