Guest of honour FBM16

German press visits the Netherlands and Flanders

22 August 2016

In the run up to the Netherlands and Flanders being Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse, the Dutch and the Flemish Foundations for Literature will receive no less than 35 German journalists from 20 till 28 August. All media will be represented: radio, television, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, and bloggers. In just a few days, the journalists will meet many writers, illustrators, publishers and (literary) organizations. No less than 120 authors/artists are involved in the three presstours, spread over 75 events at various (historic) locations in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Ghent.

The German press was welcomed by Jet Bussemaker, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the Ambassade Hotel in Amsterdam, which was also the setting for interviews with authors Adriaan van Dis, Herman Koch, Margriet de Moor, Connie Palmen and Leon de Winter. After that, the first presstour kicked off with short lectures by Guus Kuijer, Bregje Hofstede and Thomas Heerma van Voss about a painting of their own choosing in the Rijksmuseum; followed by interviews in the Hortus Botanicus with three young authors – Gustaaf Peek, Wytske Versteeg and Joost de Vries - about the art of the novel and their own writing; and continued with a city walk hosted by non-fcition author Geert Mak, that led the journalists, in the footsteps of patrician Jan Six, through the Amsterdam of the 17th century.

On Wednesday 24 August the second and third press group arrived in Amsterdam. The program, among other things, gives a sneak preview of two literary games and three virtual reality works, that are made by writers and designers together and that will be presented at the Buchmesse in October. Both press trips also provide, off course, many opportunities to meet authors - for instand at an evening woth poetry in the garden of the Tolhuistuin - , and an introduction into the Dutch book market and its literary landscape by Maarten Asscher of Athenaeum Bookstore. Friday afternoon, the German press will travel to Antwerp.

Geert Mak

German press

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