Tuesday 11 November 2014

Swiss Book Prize to Lukas Bärfuss

They announced it on Sunday: The Swiss Book Prize for books written in German by Swiss people has gone to Lukas Bärfuss for Koala. As a friend pointed out, now I'm really going to have to read it. I was blown away by Bärfuss's previous novel, Hundert Tage, which is available in Tess Lewis's no doubt outstanding translation as One Hundred Days. The new one has now notched up three major prizes, plus nominations and shortlistings. It's about a writer guy whose brother commits suicide, and it's also about koalas and how humans interact with animals (a popular topos in German-language writing at the moment).

So I'll read it. I'll just squint when I catch sight of the author's photo, which doesn't make him look like a person you'd want to hang out with. But hey, I don't have to.

Bärfuss gets 30,000 Swiss Francs (about 20,000 pounds or 25,000 euros or 30,000 US dollars). The judges chose his novel because it "boldly links big subjects such as suicide, colonialism and performance ideology". I'll read it soon.

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