Books for all: Flanders’ largest literary fair turns 80


With more than 90 booths, eight themes and guest appearances by celebrated authors, the Boekenbeurs book fair is a not-to-be-missed event by booklovers of all ages

All about books

The 80th annual edition of the Boekenbeurs book fair brings together Flanders’ major publishers and independent bookshops in Antwerp.

With more than 90 booths, the festival will be full of retro flashbacks, cutting-edge reading technology, literary prizes and guest appearances. This year, the focus is on eight themes, including books to relax with, books on contemporary society and current affairs, books that promote self-reflection and books that are true to themselves.

Every theme will be applied to fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, through debates and workshops. There will also be three late-night openings with special themes: Night of the Profs (focusing on management and professionals), Foreign Affairs and Ladies & Literature.

When they’re not signing books, Flemish and international authors will take part in thought-provoking conversations. Local favourites including Tom Lanoye, Marnix Peeters, Herman Brusselmans and Griet op de Beeck are expected to be there.

Dutch journalist and author Geert Mak, best known for Reizen zonder John (Travels with Steinbeck), will be talking about his latest novel, De Levens van Jan Six (The Lives of Jan Six), while Herman Koch, one of the Netherlands’ finest contemporary authors, will present his upcoming book De greppel (The Ditch).

The winner of this year’s Hercule Poirot award remains a mystery until the opening of the festival, but Frederik Willem Daem will be accepting the debut award for his novel Zelfs de vogels vallen (Even the Birds Fall). While Flemish pop group K3 entertain the kids, celebrity chefs including Jeroen Meus, Sergio Hermans, Pascale Naessens and Sofie Dumont will be signing their latest cookbooks and sharing some tricks of the trade.

31 October to 11 November, Antwerp Expo