presented by the Federal Office of Culture FOC
Every year, the Federal Office of Culture awards the Swiss Grand Award for Literature as well as five to seven Swiss Literature Awards. The latter are awarded for literary works that have been published in the previous year, in one of the national languages or in a Swiss dialect. The Swiss Grand Prix for Literature honours a personality who stands out through their exceptional dedication to Swiss literature.
In addition, every other year a special prize is awarded, in recognition of exceptional commitment to Swiss literature and to its public promotion.
For more information, visit www.literaturpreise.ch
Sample translations of the 2021 laureates’ texts can be provided upon request.
Author Corinne Desarzens
Publisher Editions la Baconnière, Chène-Bourg
Translation rights Laurence Gudin firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Dragica Rajčić Holzner
Publisher Der gesunde Menschenversand, Lucerne
Translation rights Matthias Burki email@example.com
Author Christoph Schneeberger
Publisher verlag die brotsuppe, Biel/Bienne
Translation rights Ursi Aeschbacher, firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Levin Westermann
Publisher Matthes & Seitz, Berlin
Translation rights Loan Nguyen email@example.com
Author Alexandre Lecoultre
Publisher Éditions l’Âge d’homme, Lausanne
Translation rights Florence Schluchter, Alexandre Lecoultre, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Silvia Ricci Lempen
Publisher Vita Activa, Triest
Translation rights Gabriella Gerin email@example.com
Author Benjamin von Wyl
Publisher lectorbooks, Zurich
Translation rights André Gstettenhofer firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Award for Literary Promotion
The Special Award for Literary Promotion 2021 honours the commitment of four Swiss institutions for reading. It goes to the Bibliothèque sonore Romande (BSR) in Lausanne, the Bibliothèque Braille Romande et livre parlé (BBR) in Geneva, the SBS Swiss Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Reading Disabled in Zurich and the Biblioteca Braille e del libro parlato in Tenero.
Two of them were founded at the beginning of the 20th century and one each at the end of the 1940s and the 1970s. The libraries lend books, magazines, information material on voting, cooking recipes and one of them even sheet music. The institutions have adapted to technological change. In addition to works in Braille, they also offer various audio formats, e-books, films and series with audio description and reading apps. People of all ages who are prevented from reading due to visual impairments, reading difficulties, neurological diseases or other reasons receive personal consultations and the media that meet their needs.
Swiss Grand Award for Literature
Frédéric Pajak writes, paints, draws and publishes. His work constantly seems to be trying out new things, searching for his way in the graveyard of convictions and getting lost in the labyrinths of a hidden history of the defeated, the forgotten, the obsolete.
The culmination of his work (so far) is the generous «Incertain Manifest» (edition clandestin), beautiful as an oxymoron, intimate polyphony in a jumble of scattered memories, stuttering autofiction, improvised meditation and crumbled biographies. An infinite book that, after nine volumes and several thousand pages and pictures, has finally nevertheless found a conclusion. From Walter Benjamin’s unhappiness to Fernando Pessoa’s multiple identities and Vincent van Gogh’s madness, Frédéric Pajak rambles through all the nuances of despair, even his own. Between dreaming and revolting, his loneliness shines through the works of painters, poets and thinkers who he dedicates unforgettable portraits to.