Swiss Literature Series

The Swiss Literature Series at Dalkey Archive Press makes available major works of Swiss literature in English translation. Featuring exceptional authors at the forefront of Swiss letters, the series aims to introduce the rich intellectual and aesthetic diversity of contemporary Swiss writing and culture to English-language readers.

This series is published in collaboration with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Zurich.

The first two titles in this series were released in Fall 2011.

Showing 1–10 of 24 results

  • Sale! Volatile Texts FC

    Volatile Texts: Us Two
    ( paperback )

    $14.00 $11.20

    The narrator of Volatile Texts: Us Two falls in love with Pierre, the book’s secret protagonist. During their trysts she rediscovers Switzerland, a place where every valley has its own language and every person is translated. It’s a perfect microcosm of Europe―a collection of accents, languages, and landscapes.Volatile Texts is Zsuzsanna Gahse’s ironic and prescient meditation on a Europe that is disintegrating in the same way that the Alps disintegrate into individual lakes and valleys. Yet language itself is the true subject of these prose miniatures, which are volatile and unstable because they expose language as an arbitrary construct made of interchangeable parts; however, this is also what makes the book such an exciting read.

  • Sale! Tynset

    ( paperback )

    $15.00 $12.00

    Tynset takes place during a sleepless night, but as the work unfolds it becomes apparent that the circumstances of the immediate present serve merely as points of departure. Plagued by incessant rumination, the narrator’s restless mind spins thread after thread of thought, fantasy, and memory into an elaborate tapestry spanning centuries and covering thousands of miles―all without the narrator ever leaving his house. Hildesheimer famously refused to describe Tynset as a novel; instead, he chose to think of the work as an extended monologue whose structure derives from the musical rondo form, with the recurrence of the titular Norwegian town functioning as a refrain.

  • Sale! cold shoulder

    Cold Shoulder
    ( Paperback )

    $14.00 $11.25

    Moritz Wenk is a moderately unsuccessful artist work- ing part-time as a commercial painter. He forms a harmonious if uncommitted couple with Judith, a dental hygienist. During a hot week in summer, Moritz reflects on his own position in life while mediating a marital dispute between two friends, hosting a dinner party for neighbors he hates, and turning thirty-eight. Told with Werner’s customary charm, spleen, and baroque artistry, Cold Shoulder is a comic portrait of an unexceptional modern man struggling to make the decisions that will bring his life meaning.

  • Sale! Old Man and the bench by Urs Allemann,cover

    The Old Man and the Bench
    ( paperback )

    $14.95 $11.96

    The title character in The Old Man and the Bench has a contract that requires him to write, and he feels he should focus on his past. Yet instead of childhood reminiscences, the old man dwells on a series of mini-narratives about, for example, a love triangle among concrete towers, a chaste visit by two call girls, and the joint-by-joint can­nibalization of his fingers.

  • Sale! behindStation_110614

    Behind the Station
    ( pb )

    $13.95 $11.16

    The second book of Arno Camenisch’s Alp trilogy is told through the eyes of two young brothers growing up in a small, secluded village in a valley flanked by the alpine mountains. Written in the same style as The Alp, we start to believe there is little difference between the children and the adults in this village, save for their love of mischief and ghost stories.

  • Sale! lastLastordrs_110614

    Last Last Orders
    ( pb )

    $13.95 $11.16

    Last Last Orders is the third installment in Arno Camenisch’s award-winning trilogy. The book opens in the Helvetia bar, and the regulars are enjoying one last drink before the bar closes for good.

  • Sale! theAlp

    The Alp
    ( Paperback )

    $12.95 $10.00

    The first novel in Arno Camenisch's celebrated “alpine” trilogy unfolds over a single summer. The four main (unnamed) characters are a dairyman, his farmhand, a cowherd, and a swineherd, who all live and work in close proximity–but this is no Heidi. Theirs is an existence marked by dangerous work, solitude, cruelty, alcoholism, and sheer stubbornness; yet Camenisch's handling of these lives is full of affection, surreal humor, and a brilliant ear for the sounds of the setting.

  • Sale! Zündel's Exit by Markus Werner

    Zündel’s Exit
    ( Paperback / softback )

    $13.50 $10.80

    Scrounged from his notebooks and hearsay, this is the story of a schoolteacher named Konrad Zündel: a philosopher, a wanna-be writer; scattered, self-conscious, glum, anxious, unlucky, discontent . . . At the end of his rope, he decides to flee his workaday life at all costs, only to find escape always a little beyond his reach. Zündel’s Exit is a Chaplinesque comedy of disintegration, never knowing if it’s coming or going.

  • Sale! The Whole of LIfe

    The Whole of Life
    ( Paperback / softback )

    $15.00 $12.00

    With tongue resolutely in cheek, saxophonist, critic, poet, and one-time enfant terrible of Swiss literature Jürg Laederach here pursues the ambition of forcing all of human existence into a single novel. In Life, space is compressed to the suffocating dimensions of a single mind, while single moments are expanded cubistically into entire landscapes. Bodies are vivisected and reassembled, and language is invaded, exploded, and reassembled. The Whole of Life sees Laederach composing a novel by taking it apart as he goes.

  • Sale! 15647100456540L

    With the Animals
    ( Paperback / softback )

    $14.95 $11.96

    Considered the standard-bearer for the great Franco-Swiss literary tradition, exemplified by authors such as Jacques Chessex and C. F. Ramuz, Noëlle Revaz may also remind English-language readers of Louis-Ferdinand Céline . . .