Press Release

Press Release | 10/06/2022

Frankfurt Book Fair 2022

  • Big topics, big names, and the latest books on the Blue Sofa in Hall 3.1
  • Featuring Nobel Prize for Literature winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, Peace Prize winner Serhij Zhadan, Hollywood star Diane Kruger, Donna Leon, Charlotte Link, Dmitry Glukhovsky, Vanessa Mai, and many others

Frankfurt/Main, October 6, 2022: The Blue Sofa will once again be serving up a splendid literary program at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2022: The literary format jointly hosted by Bertelsmann, ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, and 3sat will once again present a top-notch, attractive and international lineup featuring nearly 80 authors from all over the world. From October 19 to 23, book fair visitors can experience the diversity of literature in the halls or in a live stream and discover numerous novelties: major international literary figures including Abdulrazak Gurnah, Donna Leon, Serhij Zhadan, Charlotte Link, Leila Slimani, Péter Nádas, Dmitry Glukhovsky, Dörte Hansen, and Robert Menasse will talk about their new novels on the Blue Sofa. Popular authors like Vanessa Mai, Judith Holofernes, Karen Duve, Melanie Raabe, and Theresia Enzensberger will meet equally well-known nonfiction authors such as Michel Friedman, Stefanie Stahl, Maja Göpel, Ulrike Herrmann, Rüdiger von Fritsch, Luisa Neubauer, Ian Kershaw, David Van Reybrouck, and Andrea Wulf.

This year, the Blue Sofa will spotlight two countries: Contemporary literature from Ukraine will be presented by this year’s Peace Prize winner, the writer and poet Serhij Zhadan, as well as by the writers Tanya Maljartschuk, Yuri Andruchowytsch and Andrei Kurkov. And insights into the diverse literature, culture and history of this year’s Guest of Honor Spain will be provided by Antonio Muñoz Molina, Fernando Aramburu, Maja González, Najat El Hachmi and Marta Orriols.

As each fair day ends, the “Blue Hour” at 5 p.m. presents themed talks: On Wednesday, “Buchzeit” (3sat) highlights new crime novels for the dark season under the heading “Crime Time!”. On Thursday, Shikiba Babori, Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi and Susanne Schröter will talk about the situation of “Women in Afghanistan” on the Blue Sofa. On Friday, historian Karl Schlögel and political scientists Peter R. Neumann and Gwendolyn Sasse will discuss how society and politics are responding to the latest challenges posed by climate change, the Ukraine war, inflation, and the Coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, Alex Beer, Christa von Bernuth and Lisa Eckhart, three of Germany’s best-known “Ladies of Crime,” will rendezvous on the Blue Sofa. And last but not least, Sunday’s “Blue Hour” is about the World Cup in Qatar and the question: “Football at any price?” French author and soccer fan Olivier Guez, sports journalist Christoph Biermann, and foreign correspondent Mathias Brüggmann will discuss the topic.

As every year, the literary prizes awarded at the Frankfurt Book Fair will be given special attention, in one-on-one discussions with this year’s Peace Prize laureate Serhij Zhadan and the ZDF “aspekte” Literature Prize winner. And for the first time, the German Youth Literature Award will also be discussed on the Blue Sofa: nominated author Kirsten Boie will talk about the award with two experts from the youth jury. Swiss Book Prize finalists Lioba Happel, Simon Froehling and Thomas Röthlisberger will conclude the program on Sunday with the “SpeedDating: Swiss Book Prize” event.

What do books mean to children, what can we hope for, and what does the book fair sound like?

This year, Bertelsmann interviewed more than 100 renowned authors about their current books, their hopes, their reading experiences as children and the “sound” of the Frankfurt Book Fair. The idea is to lend visibility also to writers who are unable to take a seat on the Blue Sofa. Tsitsi Dangarembga, winner of the 2021 Peace Prize, explains, for example, that her new novel addresses the suffering of the black population under colonial rule in Rhodesia, while Yoko Tawada wishes poems were drinks that create addiction without alcohol. Sarah Jäger begins her children’s book with a “big bang,” and from Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger we learn that every era has its own tyrants. The Spanish Anna Ballbona, whose parents never went on vacation, conquered the world with books as a child, while Vera Chekhova listened to the children’s stories of her great-granduncle Anton Chekhov. Andrea Wulf says that one can hope for anything – whether the hope materializes is another question. Asked about songs that express the distinctive feeling of the book fair, the literati named a lot of titles that refer to books, such as “Paperback Writer” (The Beatles), “If I Had a Book to Read” (Daliah Lavi), “Mimi Never Goes to Bed Without a Thriller” (Bill Ramsey) or “White Paper” (Element of Crime). The playlist “The Sound of the Book Fair” can be found on Spotify: 

Authors’ Gala at the Opening of ‘Open Books’

For the twelfth time, the Blue Sofa and the Cultural Office of the City of Frankfurt will open the city’s “Open Books” reading festival with an authors’ gala (October 18, 2022, 8:00 p.m. at the German National Library – Deutsche Nationalbibliothek). The gala featuring Manja Präkels, Durs Grünbein, Jürgen Kaube and the winner of the German Book Prize 2022 lets literary enthusiasts experience these authors on the eve of the book fair. Cécile Schortmann (3sat), Eva Schmidt (3sat), Thorsten Jantschek (Deutschlandfunk Kultur), and Sonja Vandenrath (Cultural Office Frankfurt) will moderate the event. Further information and advance ticket sales at: 

The Blue Sofa on TV, radio and the Internet

  • Daily livestream at 
  • 3sat will broadcast 90 minutes of “Das Blaue Sofa – Gespräche von der Frankfurter Buchmesse” (The Blue Sofa – Conversations from the Frankfurt Book Fair) on Sunday, October 23, 2022, starting at 10:15 am.
  • “The Long Night of the Blue Sofa,” a three-hour summary presenting highlights of the talks, will be broadcast by ZDF on Monday, October 24, 2022, starting at 1:15 am.

For the full book fair program, please visit: 

Information on all authors and their books can be found at: 

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has around 145,000 employees and generated revenues of €18.7 billion in the 2021 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.

About the Blue Sofa
The Blue Sofa is the authors’ forum jointly hosted by Bertelsmann, ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, and 3sat. It has become an institution at the book fairs in Frankfurt and Leipzig. The Blue Sofa Berlin celebrated its premiere in 2005. In 2011, Frankfurt’s Open Books reading festival opened with a Blue Sofa authors’ gala for the first time. Since the Leipzig Book Fair in 2000, the Blue Sofa has provided the setting for more than 3,100 conversations with authors including Nobel Prize laureates Svetlana Alexievich, Mikhail Gorbachev, Günter Grass, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Herta Müller, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Orhan Pamuk, Joseph Stiglitz, Olga Tokarczuk, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Mo Yan.