The Frankfurt Book Fair today announced that New Zealand will be the Guest of Honor of the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair (October 10-14). In a statement, Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, said the New Zealand literary scene offers “a profoundly intense” cultural experience,” shaped by European, Polynesian and Asian experiences. “The multicultural identity of New Zealand has been built upon inspirational stories, through both its oral tradition and in writing, as well as in songs and films,” Boos said. “We are looking forward to exploring this creativity and presenting it to a broad international audience.”

New Zealand is the third English-language publishers to be guest of honor at the fair, following Ireland and India, and will feature the work of a large and growing publishing business. The Publishers Association of New Zealand includes around 80 publishers, officials said, generating about €550 million in annual sales, with roughly 2,000 new titles produced annually. The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) is also active and has roughly 1,300 members. “As the Guest of Honour, New Zealand will significantly raise its profile,” said NZ xyz Christopher Finlayson, “not only in Germany, but also with over 110 exhibiting countries and the hundreds of thousands of visitors attending the fair.”