New Zealand named Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012

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New Zealand will to be the Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012, to be held from October 10 – 14, 2012. New Zealand’s cultural and literary identity is vibrant and colourful. During the 20th century, that identity broke free of British influences and turned increasingly to its Maori traditions. While the first written references to the islands originate from the explorers James Cook and Georg Forster, the oral tradition of the Polynesian tribes dates back much further. It is thought that the first Maoris arrived in Aotearoa, as the country is officially known in the Maori language, around the year 800. The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) has 1,300 members and is very active.

Around 2,000 new titles enter the market each year. The Publishers Association of New Zealand includes around 80 New Zealand publishers, which together generate about 550 million Euros in annual sales. In 2007, taken as a whole, New Zealand’s cultural sector was worth approximately seven billion euros. New Zealand, after Ireland and India, will be the third English-speaking Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

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