Frankfurt Book Fair closes with Georgian literary awards, shows

The handover of the Guest of Honour status closed the Frankfurt fair on Sunday. Photo: Georgia’s Culture Ministry press office., 15 Oct 2018 - 19:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest literary occasion that showcased Georgian authors and culture this year, concluded last weekend with awards to the best Georgian literature of 2018, concerts and a handover to next year’s Guest of Honour.

Five days of presentations, talks and performances in honour of Georgia’s highlight at the event culminated with Georgian National Book Centre Director Medea Metreveli handing the Guest of Honour title to Norwegian representation.

The symbolic occasion was followed by a surprise present from organisers of the fair, through a rendition of popular Georgian song Suliko, based on a work by celebrated poet Akaki Tsereteli.

Fair President and CEO Jürgen Boss praised Georgian authors and literature in his address. Photo: Saba Literary Prize.

The celebratory exchanges followed the awards for Georgia’s annual Saba Literary Prize, set up to be held in Frankfurt this year.

Winners in ten categories, from Novel of the Year to Foreign Publisher of Georgian Literature of the Year prizes, were unveiled on stage at the Kaisersaal Frankfurt venue.

Jürgen Boss, President and CEO of the fair, went on stage at the historical hall to praise the winners of the prize, noting he was “envious” of the “creative talent” from Georgia.

I would like to thank the authors who are now in Frankfurt. We all worked hard and the good news is that [this] will not end with Georgia’s participation as Guest of Honour.”

My team, the Frankfurt Book Fair will continue to ensure that Georgian literature finds readers around the world”, Boos said in his address.

Shows by the Sukhishvilebi National Ballet troupe at the Georgian Pavilion at fairgrounds, as well as classical music concerts at the Alte Oper Frankfurt theatre were the finishing touches from the Georgian cultural takeover of the German city during the fair.

In the latter, the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra presented a first performance of celebrated contemporary composer Giya Kancheli’s piece STYX.

The symphony orchestra’s programme for the audience also included composer Nikoloz Rachveli’s work To the Silver Sun.

A classical concert at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper theatre rounded off the closing day. Photo: Georgia’s Culture Ministry press office.

The roster of performers for the evening included violist Giorgi Tsagareli, singer Zviad Bolkvadze, the Gori Women’s Choir and the Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir from Georgia.

Georgian authors, publishers, art and creatives were in focus of the five-day fair which hosted hundreds of thousands of visitors for around 4,000 events.

The Georgian Pavilion at the fair was flanked by three stands for introducing the latest and greatest of the Georgian literature to visitors, including separate stands for children’s books and art publications.

A special stage was also set up to host around 80 events, including panel discussions involving Georgian authors alongside publishers from Germany and the Guest of Honour country.

Along with author appearances, the pavilion also presented Georgian titles translated to various languages, with 200 publishing houses from nearly 40 countries.

Theatre companies and artists from Georgia were also featured in shows and exhibitions in the months of run-up to the fair, with some events set to run through the rest of the year.