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Swiss delegation of authors
The Frankfurt Book Fair, scheduled for 11 to 15 October 2017, is one of the leading global meet-ups for book industry professionals in the world. As this year’s guest of honour, France is spotlighting the French language itself with its slogan «Francfort en français». Pro Helvetia is also partaking in this focal programme by presenting Swiss literature from the French-speaking part of the country.
Numerous French-language partners are joining forces for the special «Francfort en français» occasion to demonstrate their language’s openness to the world, promote the talents that perpetuate its vibrancy and present innovative output in French.
Switzerland is contributing to this celebration of the French language with a variety of events throughout the festival week. It participated in the project Ping-Pong
– focusing on comics and graphic novels – in particular with contributions by Hélène Bequelin and Pierre Wazem. Other authors from the world of illustrations to be encountered at the Frankfurt fair include Albertine & Germano Zullo and Zep. German-language publishers from the Swiss Booksellers’ and Publishers’ Association (SBVV) have invited literary figures from across the linguistic border for a daily get-together at their booth under the heading «30 minutes chez les Welsches». This special format event for Helvetic French-language literature is due to host writers Pascale Kramer, Noëlle Revaz, Marie-Jeanne Urech and Frédéric Pajak. The Swiss programme also features a special surprise – a reconstruction of the Gutenberg printing press, an object of high symbolic value for German and French culture. Each day, authors participating in «Francfort en français» will take turns in personally printing the first page of their latest work both in French and in German. With the help of a typographer, the authors will demonstrate all the steps required in the process of printing by hand.
As every year, Pro Helvetia is benefiting from the Frankfurt Book Fair to promote its «12 Swiss Books», a catalogue of twelve authors whose works are deemed especially worthy of translation. Not surprisingly, the emphasis this time round is on writers from the French-speaking part of the country.