Swiss Bites. All you need to know about Swiss Literature in the UK, September 2020. And the sun is still shining…

Well September is here, the summer is a distant memory and we work from home. Plus ça change!

Frankfurt has gone Digital and much has evolved since our June issue. For the Frankfurt Online Book Fair, publishers can all register as online exhibitors. Pro Helvetia will be virtually present as well – do sign up here and use the matchmaking section to book a meeting with our colleagues in Zurich! 

Since August, the SBVV, the Swiss Publishers’ Association, have been preparing the first Digital Book Days Switzerland on 4 and 5 November in parallel – the first major online event in the Swiss book industry to take place:

Swiss publishers will present highlights of their work and focal points of the spring programme. Above all, online symposia, webinars, discussion rounds and workshops are planned with evening public events to address the wider public.

In addition to a focus on the exchange between publishers across the borders of the various language regions, international issues will also be brought into focus. A large part of the events will continue to be accessible and usable online after the actual book days. So make a note of 4 and 5 November 2020.

More info to follow in the next Swiss Bites.

Put on your radar for December

Meanwhile in the UK, thanks to Harvill Secker, Urs Faes, the author of fourteen novels, several poetry collections and a number of plays who has been nominated twice for the Swiss Book Prize, will be published in English for the first time on 3rd December. Twelve Nights, translated by Jamie Lee Searle, is the perfect size to read in one sitting, snuggled up for a good book: very short and perfectly formed, and just LOOK AT THE JACKET. Nice.

Love, loss, feuds and inheritance all play a part. Twelve Nights transports us to the wintry depths of Europe’s Black Forest in those dark, wild days between Christmas and Epiphany. A hymn to the winter landscape and the power of storytelling and our place in the natural world, we cannot rate it more highly. A short, bewitching extract can be read here. Wet your whistle and admire.

Mark 17 October in your dance card:
the European Poetry Festival EPF 2020

Swiss poets collaborate with British-based counterparts featuring Linn MolineauxBaptiste GaillardCléa Chopard pictured above (copyright Guillaume Chavaillaz, OFCLadina Bishof and Tristan Chopard respectively)Laura Accerboni, Raphael Urweider, Serena Braida, Ghazal Mosadeq & more.

Full info is here. Watch the scheduling – a weekend’s socially-distanced walking tour is the plan, parameters permitting.

Tis the season for Swiss Italian festivals:

In Bellinzona: Babel (17-20 September) boasts a staggering array of authors and talent and interests, continuing in December with a Poethreesome with Michelle Steinbeck, Laura di Corcia, Rebecca Gisler.
In Ticino: the Eventi letterari Monte Verità (29 October to 1 November) is equally inspiring.

There is some savvy booking going on here in the jaws of Covid.

And finally KABOOM:

Three Swiss titles are on the longlist for the German Book Prize.
Dorothee Elmiger (photo © Peter-Andreas Hassiepen) with Aus der ZuckerfabrikArno Camenisch with Goldene Jahre (photo: Janosch Abel) and Charles Lewinsky’s Halbbart (photo: Kostas Maros).
GOOD LUCK to them!



The British cultural critic Seán Williams, acclaimed Swiss novelist Tabea Steiner and Swiss former mobility student and teacher Raphael Zimmermann come together with readings and reflections on culture and coronavirus, Switzerland and the art of shutdown.

It makes for good listening.

That’s us for now. GO WELL, READ WELL, LISTEN WELL, PLOT WELL and see you soon.

Category: LS News


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