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Helsinki Book Fair 2016 to highlight literature and culture of the Nordic countries

This year the Helsinki Book Fair highlights the literature and culture of the Nordic countries. Of the five Nordic countries only Norway and Sweden have prior been the theme countries of the event, Norway in 2007 and Sweden in 2009. The Helsinki Book Fair is organised 27-30 October 2016 at Messukeskus Helsinki.

In October Messukeskus Helsinki offers an array of authors and literature from the Nordic countries. "Each year several Scandinavian crime novelists have participated in the Helsinki Book Fair. This year our aim is to increase the number of other types of authors, such as poets and fiction writers. The selection of authors from the Nordic countries will no doubt be extensive due to the theme year”, estimates Programme Director Jan Erola. More information about the programme is released in the spring and the finalised programme is published in September.  
Nordic Culture Point (Kulturkontakt Nord) has the leading role in compiling the programme in cooperation with the embassies of Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In addition to this, publishers and other exhibitors also produce programme for the event. “Plans are in a very preliminary stage but we are very excited about this opportunity to promote the literature and culture of the Nordic countries at the Helsinki Book Fair”, explains Johan Theman from Nordic Culture Point. “Yesterday we announced the 14 finalists for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. The prize will be highlighted at the Helsinki Book Fair and many finalists will also be invited.” The winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize is announced 1 November 2016 at the Nordic Council’s meeting in Copenhagen.

The Helsinki Book Fair has each year offered plenty of literature in Swedish. Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland, an association dedicated to promoting the Swedish language, culture and literature in Finland, organises programme in Swedish on two stages and their programme coordinator Agneta Rahikainen is delighted about this year’s theme.  “The literature and culture of the Swedish speaking minority in Finland have many times acted as the unifying elements between the Nordic countries, and with the help of which Finnish literature has gained ground in the other Nordic countries, especially in Sweden. Our stages have introduced many authors from the Nordic countries and this year’s theme is perfect for us. The event will offer many interesting presentations and conversations about literature in the Nordic countries”, promises Rahikainen.  Hufvudstadsbladet, the leading Swedish newspaper in Finland, also organises plenty of programme on their exhibition stand. 

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