At Torino 2024: The German Language is Guest of Honor

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Italy is Frankfurt’s guest of honor in October, and the German language will be guest of honor at Torino in May.

Inside the 2023 Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino at the Lingotto Congress Center. Image: SILT

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Aligned With Italy’s ‘Roots and Future’ Program
While the 2023 guest of honor market at Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino was Albania—and with a memorable rocky-terrain entrance to its pavilion—the guest of honor this year is a linguistic market: German.

Jointly organized by Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the guest of honor program is called Literature Parade: Guest Language German at #SalTo24 (Tedesco Lingua Ospite a #SalTo24), and will be housed in the Oval Pavilion at spot V-22 at the exhibition in the Lingotto Congress Center.

Of course, 2o24 is the year in which Guest of Honor Italy is headed for Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 16 to 20), and The Roots and Future theme has become a reminder that it was in 1988—when the public-facing book fair at Torino was founded—that Italy was the 40th’s Frankfurt’s guest of honor, for a first time.

Mauro Mazza

Thirty-six years later, as Italy returns to Buchmesse as its guest of honor for a second time, and the Torino show will become a kind of send-0ff.

Returning to Frankfurt in the autumn, Italy is planning to arrive in Germany in October with its own guest of honor pavilion designed by architect Stefano Boeri, and more about this is to be made public at the end of May.

Stefano Rolando

Meanwhile, if you’ll be at the Torino fair and/or its professional program, look for a 3 p.m. event on May in the Sala Blu. There, with the assistance of the Torino fair’s new director, Annalena Benini, Guest of Honor Italy will stage a panel discussion to discuss 1988-2024: Italy in Frankfurt: Roots and Future.

That panel will feature not only Stefano Rolando, the former head of the information and publishing department at the presidency of the council of ministers, but also Mauro Mazza, Rome’s specially appointed extraordinary commissioner for the Italy-Frankfurt program.

As it happens, Rolando held the position of the extraordinary commissioner in 1988 when Italy first was Frankfurt’s guest of honor, so watch for a bit of baton-passing between him and Mazza during the discussion on the changes in the art and business of books in the last 36 years since that first Frankfurt for Italy.

A dramatic look into the Albanian guest of honor pavilion at the Salone Internazionale del Libro Torino in 2023. This year’s guest of honor there is the German language. Image: SILT

More About Torino’s ‘Literatur Parade’ Guest of Honor

For Torino’s public-facing international book fair produced again by the Fondazione Libro in May, at least 25 German-language authors have been invited to participate. Those writers include:

  • Reiner Stach, biographer of Franz Kafka—who died a century ago this year
  • Lukas Bärfuss, winner of the Büchner Preis
  • Charlotte Gneuß whose debut novel Gittersee entered the German Book Prize longlist in 2023

One aspect of the German Language guest of honor program is an emphatic embrace of the diversity and richness of its literature in Italian translation. The themes of the books at the salone range from the issues of background and family, memory and oblivion, flight and migration, to those on diversity and sustainability.

The list of authors invited comprises:

  • Usama Al Shahmani
  • Lukas Bärfuss
  • Laura Cwiertnia
  • Bea Davies
  • Charlotte Gneuß
  • Hanna Harms
  • Lin Hierse
  • Annabelle Hirsch
  • Barbara Juch
  • Anja Kampmann
  • Shelly Kupferberg
  • Simone Lappert
  • Angela Lehner
  • Jimi Lend
  • Noëmi Lerch
  • Eva Maria Leuenberger
  • Andrea Macaluso
  • Nicolas Mahler
  • Jens Nielsen
  • Julya Rabinowich,
  • Johanna Schaible
  • Sabine Scho
  • Reiner Stach
  • Jan Wagner
  • Dita Zipfel
Sustainability in the German-Language Stand

Entering the 2023 edition of the Salone Internazionale del Libro Torino. Image: SILT

Some 170 square meters of space (1,830 square feet) of space is being devoted to the German Language Pavilion, which has been designed in alignment with book-fair sustainability principles—reduce, reuse, recycle. On the stand, fairgoers will find showcased books, events, and a bookstore operated by the Luxembourg International Bookshop.

A thematic curation of aesthetically distinguished volumes from recent publication in German-speaking countries has been led by Igiaba Scego.

A program called “Poetry at 12” is to be held on each of the fair’s days, with writers promotionally supported by Rome’s Casa di Goethe Museum.

Translators from German and Italian will be recognized for the often overlooked but indispensable service they provide in an area called “The Invisible Author,” while the opening of the program will involve a “musical chariot” in a “Read Parade” event featuring Veronica Raimo, Chiara Galeazzi, Vincenzo Latronico, Tom Müller, Anja Kampmann, and others.

The German-language guest of honor program at Torino is supported and promoted by Austria’s ederal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the Austrian Cultural Forums in Milan and Rome;  Germany’s Frankfurter Buchmesse, Goethe-Institut,, and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Switzerland’s Swiss Culture Foundation Pro Helvetia and the Booksellers and Publishers Association of German-speaking Switzerland SBVV.

More from us on the Torino International Book Fair is here, more on international book fairs and trade shows overall is here, more on Guest of Honor Italy at Frankfurt this year is here, and more on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.