2022 Frankfurt Book Fair is in Full Swing


Markus and Núria Cabutí, CEO, PRH Grupo Editorial. (BeNet)

The 2022 Frankfurt Book Fair kicked off on Wednesday, October 19th with a flurry of exciting book deals, author speaking engagements, and exhilarated attendees. The literary event is back in full swing, with renewed enthusiasm and several exciting Penguin Random House book deals underway.

The event will come to an end Sunday, October 23rd. Read on to learn of the highlights so far!

Highlights Include Mohsin Hamid and President Volodymyr Zelensky

Author Mohsin Hamid, keynote speaker, 2022 Frankfurter Buchmesse. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

Riverhead author Mohsin Hamid was the keynote speaker at the opening press conference, where he spoke on his now faltering belief that the world is improving and the crucial role literature plays in dark times, “As our world turns away from cooperation,” Hamid said, “novels become all the more important. In a world that seems to be about to enter a phase of darkness, novels are a pile of embers that we hold in our hands…”

Juergen Boos, President and CEO of the Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH, said, “In his latest book, Mohsin Hamid once again proves to be a great, time-diagnostic narrator who looks at today’s sore spots and illuminates them until new insights are possible. I’m delighted that we’ll have one of the most interesting voices in contemporary literature as our guest.”

On Thursday, Ukrainian President and PRH author Volodymyr Zelensky addressed attendees via video livestream. Zelensky’s book, A MESSAGE FROM UKRAINE, will be published by Crown this December

Russian-sponsored events have not been permitted by the festival organizers, but dissenting Russian authors will participate such as Leonid Volkov, a leading ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, and Irina Scherbakova, an activist from prominent rights group Memorial, will discuss the state of Russia’s opposition.

Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe’s Strong Presence 

PRH Verlagsgruppe Booth (BeNet Clips)

Our German publishing house colleagues are set up at a joint booth and they are hosting more tha 100 public appearances featuring German authors such as Abdulrazak Gurnah, Dörte Hansen,  Charlotte Link, Wladimir Kaminer, Bernhard Hennen, Aslı Erdoğan, Titus Müller, and many others.

In an interview with BENET, Thomas Rathnow, CEO of Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe, spoke of the excitement surrounding this year’s edition of Frankfurt Book Fair, which has been extended  by one day to accommodate increased attendance. Rathnow also commented on the how the book industry is faring in a tumultuous global economy, “I am fairly certain that reduced consumption will not begin with books. Printed books still hold a strong attraction, but everything around them is currently experiencing considerable change – meaning: where readers look for new books, where they find them, and where they ultimately purchase them. We must not underestimate this change in how people will get their books.”

PRH Verlagsgruppe can also be found, away from their booth, at the “Roommates for 30 Minutes” stage and at “The Blue Sofa” — both cultural programs born of a Bertelsmann collaboration.

Spain is the Guest of Honor

Spain is spotlighted as this year’s Guest of Honor. More than 200 Spanish creatives will be attending, many of them from Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial.

Markus greeting King Felipe VI of Spain.

On Wednesday morning, the Grupo Editorial stand received a royal visit from King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, where they were received by Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, and Núria Cabutí, CEO of Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial.

In an interview with The Bookseller, Cabutí  commented on the diversity of the Spanish-language books market, “A lot of people make the mistake of thinking of Latin America as one big market. But it’s not, it’s a number of very different countries with very different cultures. That’s why we have these offices in Argentina, in Colombia, in Chile, in Mexico… We have a local approach: we publish local authors, supplemented with the international authors we can also bring in.”

PRH Grupo Editorial has offices on three continents, in nine countries and publishes not only in Spanish, but also in Catalan and Portuguese.

Soundtrack for the Frankfurt Book Fair

In the run-up to the Frankfurt Book Fair, Bertelsmann asked over eighty authors: What does the soundtrack to a literary autumn sound like? What songs will we curl up with as nights grow longer?

Authors responded with authors raging from Richard Wagner to Phoebe Bridgers, and this has now been compiled into a six-and-a-half-hour playlist for your listening pleasure below.

Hint: Keep this tab open if you’d like to listen as you work.


Posted: October 21, 2022