The Netherlands and Flanders Guests of Honour Gothenburg Book Fair 2027

27 May 2024

Gothenburg Book Fair proudly unveils its latest prestigious Guests of Honour for the 2027 edition of the Book Fair: Flanders and the Netherlands. With the Leipzig Book Fair having recently highlighting this vibrant region, the organisers of Gothenburg Book Fair are thrilled to introduce it to a Nordic audience, a couple of years ahead. The announcement, made at Leipzig Book Fair, was accompanied by the presence of Book Fair Director Frida Edman, who participated in a signing event.

Flanders and the Netherlands share a close linguistic and cultural bond, with the Dutch language serving as a cornerstone of their relationship. This shared heritage has fostered cultural exchange and collaboration, making them natural choices as Guests of Honour at literary events like the Gothenburg Book Fair.

"We are absolutely thrilled about this partnership, as it not only celebrates rich cultural and literary connections between Flanders and the Netherlands showcasing the significant contributions of both regions to the world of art, literature and democratic values, but actually intertwine with the history of Gothenburg in remarkable ways." says Frida Edman, Book Fair Director, expressing enthusiasm for the profound intersection of heritage and collaboration. 

Gothenburg originally had three official languages: Swedish, German and Dutch. The city was literally built by the Dutch, leaving a lasting imprint on its infrastructure and architecture. Their expertise in urban planning and engineering contributed to the construction of Gothenburg’s network of canals, bridges and harbour facilities. Today, both Flanders and the Netherlands and Gothenburg share the environmental challenges of rising water levels, a shared concern that underscores the importance of collaboration and knowledge exchange in developing effective solutions for sustainable urban development and climate resilience.

The announcement was made at the same time as Flanders and The Netherlands were Guests of Honour at the Leipzig Book Fair, where Frida Edman, Paul Hermans (director Flanders Literature) and Romkje de Bildt (director Dutch Foundation for Literature) signed the agreement.

Paul Hermans, Director Flanders Literature: "We are very excited to return to Gothenburg after 30 years. The invitation from the Gothenburg Book Fair provides us with a wonderful opportunity to introduce a remarkable and committed new generation of authors who demonstrate the depth and diversity of our literature across all genres. The fair is the ideal platform to create a new impetus for the cooperation between our regions and to deepen the exchange with readers from Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia."

Romkje de Bildt, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature: "During the Leipzig Book Fair, we have once again noticed the importance of literature and translation for a vital culture and democracy. With the Gothenborg Book Fair 2027, we are excited to strengthen our international bonds, explore the literary exchange between our countries and celebrate our common love for literature. There are many new and exciting Dutch literary voices – within and outside the book – that we are eager to share with Swedish readers and publishers."

A cultural and literary exchange between Sweden, Flanders and the Netherlands

The partnership aims to celebrate the rich connections shared between Flanders and the Netherlands and Sweden to foster lasting collaboration and enhance the visibility of literature from Flanders and the Netherlands in Sweden, and vice versa.

Gothenburg Book Fair is a book fair, literary festival and professional conference and one of the most significant cultural events in Northern Europe, attracting more than 80,000 visitors and participants from 40 countries annually. It is arranged in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, at the end of September.

Flanders and the Netherlands are two culturally rich regions in Europe, each with its own unique identity and contributions to literature, art and history. Flanders, located in the northern part of Belgium, has a population of about 6.8 million people, living in a highly urbanized area with historically and culturally important cities such as Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. The Netherlands, with a population of 17.9 million people, lies for a large part below sea level and is known for its cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.

Since 2020, almost 50 originally Dutch-language literary titles have been published in Swedish, and many more translations are on their way.

Classic Dutch language novels from authors such as Hugo Claus, Harry Mulisch and Hella Haase have been translated in Sweden – and world wide. In recent years, both in the Netherlands as in Flanders a new, politically engaged and opinionated new generation has emerged. Topics like climate change, racism and gender inequality are visible in their novels, poetry and non fiction works. Authors like Lize Spit, Lucas Rijneveld, Stefan Hertmans, Caroline de Gruyter and Eva Meijer – all published in Sweden – are the literary voices of today. In children's literature, Bart Moeyaert (who won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) and Anna Woltz are important authors, whose work is being published in many countries, including Sweden.

Flanders Literature and the Dutch Foundation for Literature will be responsible for the regions’ collective presence that will include a delegation of authors.

The ambition is that the themed focus in Göteborg and the cultural and literary exchange will lead to more translations, establishing and expanding a significant cultural exchange between Sweden, Flanders and the Netherlands.

Gothenburg Book Fair 2027 will be arranged 26 – 29 September.

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. Its vision is to create tingling sensations in the soul by offering the most thought-provoking experience of the year. By promoting reading, education, and the role of literature in society, the fair strives to make the world a better place.

Learn more about Gothenburg Book Fair at