Bertelsmann: The Blue Sofa returns live in Hall 3.1 for the Frankfurt Book Fair

Press release | Frankfurt am Main, 08/10/2021

The Blue Sofa returns live in Hall 3.1 for the Frankfurt Book Fair

Famous Authors: Tsitsi Dangarembga, Peace Prize Laureate, Elke Heidenreich, Roland Kaiser, Carolin Kebekus, Sven Regener, Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Edgar Selge, Alvaro Soler, Sönke Wortmann and many more

After the last three book fairs had to be moved from Leipzig and Frankfurt to the internet due to the pandemic, the motto of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021 is “Re: connect – Welcome back to Frankfurt”. A varied program and elaborate hygiene concepts are designed to make literature once again a living experience.

Big subjects, big names and news on the Blue Sofa

The Blue Sofa hosted by Bertelsmann, ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and 3sat is also returning to its usual location in exhibition hall 3.1. H + D 23 with a vast live program. With a lineup of 61 writers, the Authors’ Forum offers a wide range of events for all listening and reading tastes. Those who stay at home can watch all of the lectures live from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily during the five days of the fair (Wednesday October 20 to Sunday October 24, 2021).

Literary figures such as Julia Franck, Daniela Krien, Gert Loschütz, Eva Menasse, Fridolin Schley, Daniel Schreiber, Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Sasha Marianna Salzmann meet popular non-fiction writers such as Peter Wohlleben, Per Leo, Steffen Mau, Armin Nassehi and Uwe Wittstock. Well-known comedians, including Carolin Kebekus, Florian Schroeder, and Bülent Ceylon and famous authors such as Elke Heidenreich, Sönke Wortmann, Edgar Selge, Sven Regener, Roland Kaiser, Alvaro Soler, Annabelle Mandeng and the extreme german sailor Boris Hermann will also take place on the famous literary sofa.

Likewise, a number of laureates will once again be seated on the blue sofa at this year’s show: the current Peace Prize winner Tsitsi Dangarembga, the winner of the German Book Prize and the finalists of the Swiss Book Prize. The Aspekte Literature Prize will be awarded live on the Blue Sofa at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 21.

Hot topics are discussed daily in the “Die Blaue Stunde” (L’Heure Bleue) discussion format: Wednesdays, Daniela schwarzer,Martin klingst, and Joachim scholtyseck explain how transatlantic relations are evolving. Thusday, Beate Küpper, professor of social work, Klaus Zierer, school education teacher and historian MaltaThiessen talk about their vision of society in times of coronavirus. Friday, Ursula Weidenfeld, Ralph Bollmann, and Stephane Lamby discuss “Germany after Merkel”. And on Saturday, Mona Ameziane, Annabelle Mandeng, and Dilek Güngör answer the question “How do you write about identity?” ” After, Tanja Weber, Eberhard Michaely and Up to Raether talk about murder and other crimes at the age-old “Krimi-SpeedDating” (crime speed dating) event. In the Sunday Causeries, international authors will focus on literature: representing the motto of the host country Canada “Puralité singulière – Singulier Pluriel”, Indigenous author and journalist Paul Seesequasis, the French-speaking writer Catherine mavrikakis and the English-speaking poet MichaelCrummy will talk about their latest works which have been translated into German. Then the finalists of the Swiss Book PrizeVeronika Sutter, Thomas Duarte and Michel Hugentobler will make an appearance on the blue sofa.

What does the blue sofa mean and what do the books look like?

In the run-up to the Frankfurt Book Fair, Bertelsmann interviewed around 80 renowned and newcomer authors about their current work, their favorite books, the meaning of the blue sofa, and the “sound” they most associate with their latest. works.

While for Tsitsi Dangarembga, a place on the Blue Sofa is a “welcome recognition of my work”, for Klaus Pohl it is “a place in paradise”. Mikael krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler state that this is the only place “where you can sit down”. Elke Heidenreich, a literary expert, considers a couch “ultimately still the best place to read.” Steffen Mau likes to “talk about books in order to read books”, and for Sasha Marianna Salzmann, it’s a call to, “Wear your best hoodie!” ” Jan Feddersen characterizes the iconic sofa as “the place to be” because “it will once again be the smartest place to be in the book fair”. Only to Sönke Wortmann, which has not yet debuted on the Blue Sofa, does that mean “nothing yet – but that could change soon …”.

Literature and music grow together in newsletters and podcasts: authors talk and write to their favorite music, and musicians recommend books. So, in anticipation of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the question was: what does the soundtrack of this autumn book look like? Bertelsmann asked some 80 authors what song they have in mind when they think of their latest books. Interviewees cited a wide range of music, from Richard Wagner to Benny Goodman, which the Blue Sofa team compiled into a six-and-a-half-hour playlist. To hear the sound of “Das Blaue Sofa | Sound zur # FBM21”, those interested can access the playlist on Spotify and YouTube Music.

The responses of all the authors interviewed are worth reading and can be found on the Instagram channel das_blaue_sofa and on the author pages of

The Blue Sofa live at Open Books in Frankfurt

For ten years, the traditional opening of the Open Books reading festival has taken place on the eve of the fair with a literary gala on the Blue Sofa – including the first public appearance of the winner of the German Book Prize. Besides, Gert Loschütz, Sasha Marianna Salzmann, and By Lion are expected at the Open Books event on the iconic sofa. (October 19, 2021 | German National Library | from 8:00 p.m.)

The blue sofa on TV, radio and online

  • Book lovers and readers can participate in the livestream at

  • Daily on Deutschlandfunk Kultur (radio) and online at:,, and

  • On Deutschlandfunk Kultur, listen to a wide selection of “Das Blaue Sofa” conversations on Sunday, October 24, from 12:00 am to 7:00 am

  • On Sunday 24 October from 11:30 am, 3sat will broadcast a 90-minute summary of the interventions of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021, under the title “Das Blaue Sofa”.

  • ZDF will broadcast “The Long Night of the Blue Sofa” for three hours on Sunday, October 24, from 12:35 am (after midnight)

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company operating in approximately 50 countries around the world. It includes broadcaster RTL Group, trade book publisher Penguin Random House, magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, music company BMG, service provider Arvato, Bertelsmann Printing Group, Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments. , an international network of funds. The company has around 130,000 employees and generated sales of 17.3 billion euros in fiscal year 2020. Bertelsmann is synonymous with creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class multimedia content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. In 2021, Bertelsmann commemorates the 100th birthday of Reinhard Mohn, founder of the Group after the war and long-time Chairman and CEO.

About the blue sofa
The Blue Sofa is the authors’ forum jointly organized by Bertelsmann, ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and 3sat. It became an institution at the Frankfurt and Leipzig book fairs. The Blue Sofa Berlin celebrated its premiere in 2005. In 2011, the Frankfurt Open Books Reading Festival opened for the first time with a Blue Sofa Authors’ Gala. Since the Leipzig Book Fair in 2000, the Blue Sofa has served as the setting for more than 3,000 conversations with authors including Nobel Prize winners Svetlana Alexievich, Mikhail Gorbachev, Günter Grass, Herta Müller, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Orhan Pamuk, Joseph Stiglitz, Olga Tokarczuk, Mario Vargas Llosa and Mo Yan.

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Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA published this content on 08 October 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on 08 October 2021 08:21:06 AM UTC.

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