Robert Merle (2001)

The 8th Book Festival was organized in the spirit of the National Year of Reading campaign, launched at the initiative of the Hungarian Publishers’ and Booksellers Association. The number of visitors at the Festival which received particularly intense media coverage was nearly sixty thousand. There were exhibitors, renowned writers and publishing experts from over 25 countries. The Guest of Honour at the Book Festival 2001 was the Frenchman Robert Merle, the foreign author with the largest audience in Hungary. Due to his illness he talked to the Festival guests through a live telephone connection during the on-stage conversation. That year saw the launch of the European First Novel Festival where promising starters from 11 EU member states and Hungary were introduced to the wide public with Péter Esterházy’s help.