Patrick Bolthauser is a playwright and novelist who was born in 1971 in St Gallen, Switzerland and grew up in Liechtenstein. His plays have been performed to popular acclaim in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Poland.Rapids is his first novel, translated from the German by Peter Arnds, a lecturer in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation at Trinity College, Dublin. Boltahuser, in fact, visited Dublin in April for a reading and discussion at Trinity College.
Bolthauser’s 235-page debut novel is in essence a campus novel, set in `a strange city,’ that old fictional reliable since the days of Kafka. The protagonist is an unnamed student who is effectively being swept along through the ‘rapids’ of his late adolescence, hence thetitle. The novel was originally published as Stromschnellen, the German word for rapids in a mountain river.
In fact, Switzerland is the recognisable terrain, although not always of the pretty variety, given the depiction of a heroin addict in the character of Christina.