Per Olov Enquist (2011)
The eighteenth Book Festival really deserved the attribute international – the 2011 event in Budapest was attended by more participants, exhibitors and authors from abroad than ever before. Departing from tradition, the Guest of Honour was not a single country, but in honour of Hungary’s EU presidency, we invited the community itself, that is, including ourselves, all 27 member states of the European Union, or rather their contemporary belles-lettres book publishing and their noted authors. Every writer invited was welcomed in Budapest with a newly published Hungarian version of a work of his or hers. The Festival’s Grand Prize was presented to world-famous Swedish writer Per Olov Enquist. The exceptional emphasis on the multifaceted and multilingual European literature was further underlined by the European First Novel Festival presenting the continent’s most talented young prose writers. The Hungarian publishers scheduled more than 300 new volumes for the Festival, and book lovers could choose from 55,000—60,000 titles at the Millenáris. On Saturday, the busiest day of the Book Festival, more entrance tickets were sold last year than ever before.