Finnland. Cool.
Frankfurt Book Fair.
Guest of Honour 2014.

Finnland. Cool. exceeds all expectations

Frankfurt, October 11, 2014. “Finnland. Cool.” – under this motto Finland presented itself as the Guest of Honour of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. Today the director of the Guest of Honour’s project, Iris Schwanck, positively reviewed the appearance in Frankfurt.

Already prior to the Frankfurt Book Fair, it was evident that the Guest of Honour presentation by the Finns would be a success. With around 130 new German editions that were published in cooperation with German-speaking publishers, FILI, Export organisation of Finnish literature, was able to surpass its target. “Usually we have 30 to 40 translations from Finnish or Finland-Swedish to German per year. 130 new publications from Finland in German exceeds all our expectations, and we have hereby taken a further step to achieve our principle aim of making Finnish literature more well-known in the world book markets“, stated Iris Schwanck, Director of FILI and the Guest of Honour’s project Finnland. Cool.

But not only the German-speaking market was convinced by Finnish literature, Schwanck announced also 34 new publications for Anglo-American regions. During the trade visitor days both, Finnish authors and publishers, attracted highest international attention, which is reflected by the successful negotiations for rights and licenses. The approximately 40 Finnish publishing houses expressed their satisfaction with their business. “As stated by our publishers who are present in Frankfurt there was a huge increase of promising conversations and contract negotiations with international publishing houses during the trade visitor days. This rising demand for books from Finland has been strongly affected by the Guest of Honour presentation Finnland. Cool.”, as Iris Schwanck stressed.

The Finland Pavilion experienced a flood of visitors at the forum of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which had a clear, light Finnish design, fully devoted to the literature and poetry of the Nordic country. Already during the first three days of the fair a large number of visitors mingled in the pavilion and listened to the literary events and readings that were held by the approximately 60 Finnish authors present.

The Finnish contribution to the topic of education at the Hot Spot Education on Thursday was also highly successful. More than 300 international participants joined the seminar at the Hot Spot Education. The keynote was given by the education expert Pasi Sahlberg, who sees the key factors to the success of the Finnish education system in good cooperations between the publishers of educational material and the educational authorities, as well as the extremely high literacy rate and first-rate educational materials.

“In these days Finland is nearly everywhere, on the fairground as well as in several cultural events in the city. Actually, the President of the Republic of Finland has been spotted skating at the Main River,” says Juergen Boos, the director of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Furthermore, he confirmed that Finland as Guest of Honour attracted the highest media attention ever.

Literary and cultural Finland can be discovered until Sunday and beyond at the exhibition grounds and in the city of Frankfurt.

Finnland is not only to guest in Frankfurt. “The satellite programme Cool2014 extends to over 200 events in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in over 30 towns. The entire programme that thematises the accessibility and openness of culture and education is planned and implemented with over 90 local partners. What began at the Leipzig Book Fair is to continue until the end of the year and beyond”, states Anna-Maija Mertens, Director of the Finnland-Institut in Germany.


Egg_Kustaa SaksiFinland is the Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair this October. Design Forum Finland will produce design-themed programming for the Finnish pavilion at the fair. The annual Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest and most important book and media fair. As this year’s theme country and Guest of Honour, Finland will receive a great deal of attention through the presentation of Finnish literature and expertise in the production of educational materials. An extensive and diverse programme will highlight various aspects of Finnish culture, with design naturally included.


Frankfurt, October 8th – Today at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Minister for Education and Culture Pia Viitanen awarded the Finnish State Translation Prize to Angela Plöger from Germany.

Angela Plöger (born 1942 in Danzig) received her doctorate at Hamburg University in Fennistics and has been translating Finnish literature into German for decades.

Her first translation, Tamara by Eeva Kilpi, was published back in 1974. Following this a total of 40 translations of Finnish novels were published and she also participated as a translation in numerous anthologies.

Her newest translations that are currently being talked about a lot are the novel The Midwife by Katja Kettu (Finnish Kätilö), whose sophisticated way of expressing herself and fluent German is being praised by critics, as well as When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen (Finnish Kun kyyhkyset katosivat). She also translated two earlier works by Sofi Oksanen.

Angela Plöger also translated work by Leena Lander from whom seven translations have been published, and also five novels by Eeva-Kaarina Aronen as well as four by Anja Snellman.

Angela Plöger also made a significant contribution to make contemporary Finnish drama well-known in German-speaking countries: she has translated more than ten Finnish plays. She also translated a large number of non-fiction books and scientific literature.

This year the Finnish Ministry for Education and Culture is awarding the Finnish State Translation Prize for the 40th time. The prize that is endowed with 15,000 Euros is awarded annually based on the nomination from the export organisation for Finnish literature FILI (Finnish Literature Exchange) to distinguished translators of Finnish literature. This year as an exception, the award was presented at the International Frankfurt Book Fair at which Finland is the host country.