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Switzerland as Guest Country at Moscow Book Fair

Fourteen literary practitioners from all four linguistic regions of Switzerland, including Charles Lewinsky, Corinne Desarzens, Andrea Fazioli and Arno Camenisch, are representing our country at this year’s «non/fiction» in the heart of Moscow. For the first time, Switzerland has been chosen as guest country at Russia’s most significant book fair, which opens today.

In Soviet times, Moscow underground trains were lovingly described as moving reading rooms. Today, still, literature is highly esteemed in Russian society. There are few other countries in the world where people read as much as in the homeland of Gogol and Dostoyevsky.

Starting today, the Moscow public has an opportunity to become personally acquainted with fourteen Swiss authors at the renowned international non/fiction book fair in the centre of Moscow, for which Switzerland has, for the first time, been chosen as official guest country. The Swiss delegation includes authors Christoph Simon, Janine Massard, Andrea Fazioli, Arno Camenisch and Mikhail Shishkin, who writes in Russian but has been resident in Switzerland for many years, as well as publishers Ricco Bilger and Sabine Dörlemann from Zurich and representatives of the publishing houses «L’Age d‘Homme» and «Noir sur blanc» from Lausanne.

Russians Browsing in Swiss Books

The focus of Switzerland’s presence in Moscow is on multilingualism and the diversity of the Swiss literary landscape. Its representatives are offering a multifaceted programme of events at and beyond the book fair. Arno Camenisch will be reading in a pub, his French-speaking fellow writer Eugène can be experienced in performance, and the Moscow Arts Theatre is staging «Der Bus» by Lukas Bärfuss. Visitors to the Swiss booth at the book fair have the opportunity to browse in the original language version of Swiss works and to buy them in Russian translation. In the lead-up to this event, Russian publishers had translations produced of numerous books by Swiss authors, such as Peter von Matt, Catherine Lovey and Alberto Nessi.

Switzerland’s prominent literary presence in Moscow is part of Pro Helvetia’s «Swiss Made in Russia. Contemporary Cultural Exchanges 2013-2015» programme and has been realised by the Swiss Arts Council together with the «Salon du livre» book fair in Geneva and the Swiss Booksellers and Publishers Association (SBVV).

Media Relations: Sabina Schwarzenbach, Head of Communication,

Tel. +41 44 267 71 39, Fax +41 44 267 71 06, sschwarzenbach@prohelvetia.ch

Media Release Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 27.11.2013