Deutsche Presse-Agentur
October 17, 2005, Monday


South Korea's prime minister, Lee Hae-chan, is to open this year's
Frankfurt Book Fair Tuesday evening with remarks at a party attended
by world publishing leaders.

The attendance of Lee, 53, marks the "guest of honour" status of
Korea this year at the world's largest book show, and his speech will
be followed by an address from Korean poet Ko Un, one of 40 authors
visiting Frankfurt this month to drum up book sales in Germany.

The fair will then be formally opened with a bang of the gavel by
Dieter Schormann, head of the fair host, the German publishers'
and booksellers' association. The exhibition itself will not admit
business-people and the public till Wednesday morning.

While the display of books and the Korean cultural programme are
mainly intended for the German public, the "real" business of the
fair, the wheeling and dealing among world publishing companies and
literary agents, has already been under way since last week.

Those meetings are conducted in relative secrecy off the fair site
at Frankfurt area hotels.

Fair organizers say a record 7,000 exhibitors from more than 100
nations have booked stand space this year. The fair, which runs until
October 23, for the first time features a second-hand-book section
this year.

Organizers are also promoting sales of story ideas based on books
for films and television series.

On the final day, the fair organizers will hand the German Book Trade
Peace Prize to Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish novelist who has been abused
in his homeland for suggesting that Turkey re-examine its conflict
with Armenians.

This year's fair will also feature seminars on publishing in Arabic,
inspired by last year's guest of honour, the Arab World. Next year's
special guest, India, will be putting on literary events to give
guests a foretaste of the show yet to come.