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12 Swiss Books


Eva Stensrud

Deutschsprachige Schweizer Literatur / Bücherservice (abwesend bis 31.12.18, Stv. Elke Huwiler)

T +41 44 267 71 62



Um Schweizer Literatur international bekannter zu machen, hat Pro Helvetia das Magazin «12 Swiss Books» lanciert. Es erscheint jährlich zur Frankfurter Buchmesse und präsentiert jeweils zwölf Neuerscheinungen aus den vier Sprachregionen, die die Stiftung zur Übersetzung empfiehlt. Die Publikation ist als Web-Version sowie in gedruckter Form verfügbar. Sie bietet Textproben in der Originalsprache und in Englisch, Rezensionen, Kurzporträts der Autorinnen und Autoren sowie nützliche Hinweise zu Unterstützungsmöglichkeiten für internationale Verleger, Übersetzer und Agenturen.

Das Magazin ist in englischer Sprache verfügbar.

Download the latest edition (No. 06)


12 SWISS BOOKS 2017 | NO. 6


Bonjour tout le monde!

This year, we’re greeting you in French, because it’s Francfort en français! The French language is guest of honour at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair, and Switzerland is likewise invited to exhibit and participate in the festivities. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to promote books from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, la Romandie, where we have – apart from countless remarkable novels, of course – lots of acclaimed comic strip and graphic novel authors, excellent crime fiction, and a flourishing poetry slam scene. So we’re sure there’s something for all of you to discover in the western part of Switzerland and perhaps our magazine might be the first to open a window onto this world for you! Speaking of ‘opening up’: you’ll find we’ve wrapped our magazine à la française. Open the special cover and inside you’ll find information about the 12 authors travelling to Frankfurt this year to represent la littérature romande. The quotes we’ve chosen from their books will, we hope, make you long for more; and you can read how their translators into German approach their work. The French focus continues in the main magazine: our contributing editor Rosie Goldsmith conducted her own survey about the reception of la littérature romande in the UK. You can read her interview with translator Frank Wynne on p. 42. We also have an insight into how a French woman felt when she moved to Geneva and started writing about Swiss French literature – how, at the outset, her mother tongue didn’t feel that way at all, when she encountered the Swiss version of it! Of course you’ll also find our selection of 12 newly published Swiss books, and not just in French, but in German and Italian as well. We’ve asked British translators to read our choice of books and describe why they think each book is worthy of being translated.

We hope this glimpse into la Romandie will arouse your curiosity about French literature from Switzerland – il y a beaucoup à découvrir

For the editorial team: Angelika Salvisberg (Head of Literature & Society Division, Pro Helvetia) and Eva Stensrud (Editor-in-chief)



12 Swiss authors from Romandie in Francfort en français 2017

The French language is guest of honour at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, and Switzerland is likewise invited to exhibit and participate. A delegation of 12 Swiss-French authors is travelling to the city on the river Main to promote the literature from Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Events such as «30 minutes chez les Welsches» (30 minutes in la Romandie), a Gutenberg printing press that will print texts by francophone authors, and a Belgian-Swiss poetry slam evening will celebrate the diversity of the French language. Vive la langue française!



The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia awards grants for translations of contemporary literary works from Switzerland, with an eye to promoting cultural and linguistic diversity and helping Swiss authors reach larger audiences, both within the country and around the world.

Pro Helvetia supports the translation of:

  • literary works by Swiss authors (fiction and poetry)
  • books for children and young adults
  • non-fiction books by Swiss authors on cultural and artistic topics relating to Switzerland
  • plays by Swiss dramatists (including theatre surtitles)
  • samples of up to 15 pages upon request

To help promote Swiss literature in translation, Pro Helvetia also contributes financially to literary tours By Swiss authors and translators of recently translated books.

How to proceed: Applications must be submitted by the licensed publisher. An application must contain the licence and translation contracts, as well as a significant part of the proof-read translation manuscript and the corresponding original text. For detailed information on the application procedure, please see the guidelines on our website: www.prohelvetia.ch/en/translation-funding-and-support

Deadline: We accept applications at any time, but they must be submitted at least three months before the date of printing.

We accept applications exclusively via our online portal: www.myprohelvetia.ch

For translations of Swiss texts into the languages from South-east Europe, Pro Helvetia is a partner of the European Network for Literature and books TRADUKI. All requests involving a translation into Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Romanian, Serbian and Slovenian should be addressed directly to Traduki at: www.traduki.eu.

Please contact us if you have any further questions. We look forward to receiving your application.

Angelika Salvisberg
Head of Pro Helvetia’s Literature and Society Division
T +41 44 267 71 26


Translation House Looren in the Swiss canton of Zürich offers professional literary translators from all over the world a place to work and study. At Translation House Looren all language combinations are welcome. As the first institution of its kind in a country that, with its four national languages, has always been a land of translation, Translation House Looren sees itself primarily as a location for concentrated work. In addition, a programme of events aims to increase the visibility of literary translation and to support its practitioners. Through readings, workshops and conferences, translators are offered a forum for continuing professional development and for enhancing the public’s awareness of their activities.

Übersetzerhaus Looren
CH-8342 Wernetshausen
T +41 43 843 12 43
F +41 43 843 12 44


12 Swiss Books 2016





PHOTO © Cortis & Sonderegger, 2011

Pro Helvetia
Swiss Arts Council
Hirschengraben 22
CH-8024 Zürich
T +41 44 267 71 71
F +41 44 267 71 06


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