The 28th International Book Festival Budapest – taking place between 28 September and 1 October– hosts the Netherlands as Guest of Honour this year. The cultural bonds between the Netherlands and Hungary date back from the 16th century, with many of the first books available in Hungary coming from Dutch printing houses. The current literary cooperation is just as strong. The number of Dutch titles (both fiction and non-fiction) translated into Hungarian is outstanding by regional comparison, and the volume of Hungarian works published in the Netherlands is also impressive – hence the slogan of the Dutch programme series in Budapest: On the Sea of Books.
The Festival is to host internationally renowned authors from the Dutch literary scene: Maarten Aalders, Milo van Bokkum, Annemarie Bon, Jan Brokken, Martin Michael Driessen, Arnon Grunberg, Caroline de Gruyter, Roxane van Iperen, Emy Koopman, Jamal Ouariachi, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Annet Schaap, Abram de Swaan, and Manon Uphoff.
An eye-catching Dutch guest-of-honour stand will await festival visitors, designed by DE_FORM studio, with numerous books on display (Dutch titles in Hungarian, and Hungarian ones in Dutch), which can be purchased at the publishers` nearby stands. The stand is built from recyclable materials to demonstrate the Dutch commitment to sustainability.
The Dutch stand and an adjacent room on the festival site (Szabó Magda Room), but also at Európa Pont (Lövőház u. 35.) will host book presentations and talks with the Dutch authors, involving Hungarian experts, lecturers of the Dutch Studies of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) and Károli Gáspár Protestant University, alongside the Association of Hungarian Literary Translators (MEGY), moderators and translators. Next to these, there will be thematic panel discussions centred around translations, children`s and youth literature, book illustrations, but also around topics beyond literature: Dutch visual art of the 17th century, the grand-scale humanitarian campaign known as the children`s trains that took more than 30.000 Hungarian minors to the Netherlands to recover from the traumas of WW1, Europe/EU history and current challenges, and many more. Furthermore, the Dutch Literary Fund (Letterenfonds) will introduce their work of promoting Hungarian literature for the Dutch readers.
At other venues (Bartók Béla Rd., District 11), two extra programmes will focus on children`s literature and illustrations: Pagony bookshop (the publishing house of the same name is in the lead of providing Dutch titles in Hungarian) on 30 September, and Café Kelet, during its annual programme of Dutch-language Book Day, on 1 October.
By the time the Festival begins, the prominent literary magazine Műút`s special Dutch edition will have been published. It will offer fresh translations of prose and poetry, reviews and Dutch visual artworks.