Swiss Literature Awards

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.

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Sample translations of the 2021 laureates’ texts can be provided upon request.

Corinne Desarzens
La lune bouge lentement

Author Corinne Desarzens
Genre Novel
Publisher Editions la Baconnière, Chène-Bourg
ISBN 978-2-889600205
Translation rights Laurence Gudin

Dragica Rajčić Holzner

Author Dragica Rajčić Holzner
Genre Novel
Publisher Der gesunde Menschenversand, Lucerne
ISBN 978-3-03853-099-2
Translation rights Matthias Burki

Christoph Schneeberger
Neon, Pink & Blue

Author Christoph Schneeberger
Genre Novel
Publisher verlag die brotsuppe, Biel/Bienne
ISBN 978-3-03867-027-8
Translation rights Ursi Aeschbacher,

Levin Westermann
bezüglich der schatten

Author Levin Westermann
Genre Poetry
Publisher Matthes & Seitz, Berlin
ISBN 978-88-7168-853-4 
Translation rights Loan Nguyen

Alexandre Lecoultre
Peter und so weiter

Author Alexandre Lecoultre
Genre Novel
Publisher Éditions l’Âge d’homme, Lausanne
ISBN 978-2-825148099
Translation rights Florence Schluchter, Alexandre Lecoultre,,,

Silvia Ricci Lempen
I sogni di Anna

Author Silvia Ricci Lempen
Genre Novel
Publisher Vita Activa, Triest
ISBN 978-8-899951184
Translation rights Gabriella Gerin

Benjamin von Wyl

Author Benjamin von Wyl
Genre Novel
Publisher lectorbooks, Zurich
ISBN 978-3-906913-23-0
Translation rights André Gstettenhofer

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

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.