Writersblog

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

The Dutch programme at the International Book Fair in Beijing was cunn... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

Dear Dutch publishers. The book fair is over. Perhaps you’ll now... >>> read more

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Dutch illustrators

The days are full and long. We are incessantly bombarded with impressi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

Arriving on the stand on the first day, I’d asked a Chinese visi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

Big excitement today since we were finally meeting with Songyu from Fl... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The traffic in Beijing is horrendous, I’m sure the other blogger... >>> read more

Thomas Möhlmann

Thomas Möhlmann, Staff member Dutch Foundation for Literature

What an evening the poets and the approximately 200 onlookers present ... >>> read more

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Dutch illustrators

It’s now the third day, and the first one with plenty of sun. Un... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

What a great opportunity to learn about the Dutch literature for Chine... >>> read more

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

A duck flies to and fro over the vast expanses of world ocean, despera... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

‘In the era of browsing, we provide reading.’ - Slogan see... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The jewel in the crown of our collection of Arbeiderspers titles publi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The Chinese publishers I have met during the course of my career, the ... >>> read more

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

I have so far never been to a book fair. Nor do I know what to imagine... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

Since 2006, I began writing about the Netherlands’ performance a... >>> read more

Henk Pröpper

Henk Pröpper, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature

Now that the fair is just round the corner, this is perhaps the moment... >>> read more

Henk Pröpper

Henk Pröpper, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature

In two weeks’ time, the official opening of one of the largest b... >>> read more

Ramsey Nasr

Ramsey Nasr, Dutch poet

Ramsey Nasr (b. 1974, Rotterdam) is a poet and author, actor and direc... >>> read more


Henk Pröpper, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature

2011 Beijing International Book Fair Country of Honour: Netherlands

In two weeks’ time, the official opening of one of the largest book fairs in the world will take place - that of Beijing.
This year, the Netherlands is to be country of honour. The opening ceremonies will be performed by the Dutch State Secretary Halbe Zijlstra, together with the Chinese minister of culture Cai Wu, on 31 August at 9am, Chinese time. This will be followed by a guided tour of the 1,500m2 Dutch stand, conceived by Ira Koers and Roelof Mulder.

Potentially, both countries have much to gain from reaching a discerning reading public.

The Dutch presentation, called Open landscape - open book, refers expressly in both its design and its programmatic approach to transparency and openness - characteristics that have been historically ascribed to the Netherlands, also from a Chinese perspective.

The past months have been very much taken up with the preparations. A programme has been devised for the more than 20 accompanying authors (see list), who by means of readings, book presentations, conversations with Chinese colleagues will seek to establish contact with the Chinese reading public. All the Dutch authors present have recently had work translated into Chinese. Dozens of new translations will be presented in the course of the fair, including works by such writers as W.F. Hermans, Cees Nooteboom, Herman Koch, Geert Mak, Sander Bais, Sieb Postuma and Annemarie van Haeringen. A special feature will be the visit of HRH Princess Laurentien, whose Mr Finney and the World Turned Upside-down is to appear in a Chinese translation. A programme has been prepared for Princess Laurentien designed to appeal to both adults and children, partly linked to the themes dealt with in her literary work - endurance and the richness of a childlike eye - and partly to her efforts to promote reading and literacy.

Apart from the many writers, designers and illustrators, representatives of 16 Dutch publishers will also be taking part and for the first time in history be making the acquaintance of the Chinese book market and their Chinese colleagues. The aim is for lasting contacts to be forged between Dutch and Chinese publishers, so that two-way translations of important literary works will be made possible.

In recent years, interest in Dutch literary works has grown considerably in China. Translators such as Mark Leenhouts are making great efforts to awaken an interest in the Netherlands for both classical and new Chinese literature, for such authors as Mo Yan and Su Tong. Potentially, both countries have much to gain from reaching a discerning reading public. The Dutch stand is not only one of spectacular proportions, and -thanks to the cloud that floats above it - one with a strong appeal; it also has sufficient space for a variety of expositions and activities. The organising parties expect there to be considerable interest in the exhibitions of graphic design, children’s book illustrations and, especially, the exhibition featuring the letters of Vincent van Gogh. The intention is for a complete translation of the Collected Letters of Vincent van Gogh to be completed in 2013.