Nadj Abonji, Melinda, Tauben fliegen auf (2010)

The winner of the 2010 Deutscher Buchpreis, Nadj Abonji’s novel is an exploration of transnational experience based in part on the author’s own biography. Focussed on the experiences of first-person narrator Ildiko Kocsis and set against the difficulties faced by migrants to be accepted in contemporary swiss society, Nadj Abonji’s texts explores the lingering presence … Continue reading Nadj Abonji, Melinda, Tauben fliegen auf (2010)

Breźná, Irena, Die undankbare Fremde (2010)

In the opening passages of Breźná’s text, the clinical cleanliness of Switzerland and the freedom that it promises is juxtaposed by a feeling of unease that is developed throughout this engaging novel. The text focusses on the experiences of a young girl arriving from Czechoslovakia to Switzerland, and the resistance she experiences as she tries … Continue reading Breźná, Irena, Die undankbare Fremde (2010)

Camenisch, Arno, Hinter dem Bahnhof (2010)

Part of Camenisch’s award-winning Bündner Trilogie (the third volume, Ustrinkata, won the Eidgenössische Literaturpreis in 2012) is an exploration of language and contemporary subjectivity. Camenisch weaves Standard German, Alemannic dialect and his native Romansch throughout this text to create a dense multilingual fabric. Told from the perspective of a young child living ‘behind the station’, … Continue reading Camenisch, Arno, Hinter dem Bahnhof (2010)

Bärfuss, Lukas, Hundert Tage (2008)

In Summer 1994, racial tensions in the small African nation Rwanda reached their peak, resulting in the eventual genocide of the Tutsi by their Hutu neighbours. Bärfuss' text follows the experiences of the Swiss development worker David Hohl, who finds his fate intertwined with that of the tragic events that surround him. Deciding to remain … Continue reading Bärfuss, Lukas, Hundert Tage (2008)

Sievers, Wiebke and Sandra Vlasta. Immigrant and ethnic-minority writers since 1945: Fourteen national contexts in Europe and beyond. Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, 2018.

The book explains the emergence, recognition and interpretation of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in fourteen national contexts, among these Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The texts aim to introduce students to this particular area of study.

Natonek , Hans. Der Schlemihl. Ein Roman vom Leben des Adelbert von Chamisso. Allert de Lange, 1935.

See also: In Search of Myself. New York: Putnam's Sons 1943. Der Mann ohne Schatten. Bertelsmann 1958 Briefwechsel 1946–1962. Leipzig 2008. Letzter Tag in Europa. Publizistik von 1933 – 1963. ed. Steffi Böttger. Leipzig 2013. Czech/German-Jewish author who fled from the Nazis and spent the last two decades of his life in the US, namely … Continue reading Natonek , Hans. Der Schlemihl. Ein Roman vom Leben des Adelbert von Chamisso. Allert de Lange, 1935.

Geiser, Christoph. Wüstenfahrt. Roman. Zürich: Nagel & Kimche 1984/Berlin: Verlag Volk und Welt, 1986

See also: Das geheime Fieber. Roman. Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1987 Das Gefängnis der Wünsche. Roman. Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1992 Kahn, Knaben, schnelle Fahrt. Eine Fantasie. Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1995 These books constitute the later oeuvre of Swiss author Christoph Geiser which, after the author's coming out as a gay man in the … Continue reading Geiser, Christoph. Wüstenfahrt. Roman. Zürich: Nagel & Kimche 1984/Berlin: Verlag Volk und Welt, 1986

Stefan, Verena. Fremdschläfer (Munich: Ammann, 2007)

Verena Stefan’s breast cancer narrative, written 32 years after her cult feminist book Häutungen (1975), for which she is mainly known in Germanist circles. Written by a mature woman, this is an atypical illness narrative worth including in investigations of the genre (which is dominated by white, middle-class, heterosexual writers). Challenging for students in that it … Continue reading Stefan, Verena. Fremdschläfer (Munich: Ammann, 2007)

Schmidt, Nina. The Wounded Self: Writing Illness in Twenty-First-Century German Literature (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2018)

In the German-speaking world there has been a new wave - intensifying since 2007 - of autobiographically inspired writing on illness and disability, death and dying. Nina Schmidt's book takes this writing seriously as literature, examining how the authors of such personal narratives come to write of their experiences between the poles of cliché and … Continue reading Schmidt, Nina. The Wounded Self: Writing Illness in Twenty-First-Century German Literature (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2018)