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Grand Prix Literature Sibylle Berg wins Switzerland’s top literary prize


Berg has written 15 novels as well as numerous theatre pieces and radio plays.

(Keystone / Jens Kalaene)

The Zurich-based writer Sibylle Berg has been awarded this year’s Swiss Grand Prix Literature for her life’s work. She was recently chosen as the winner of the Swiss Book Prize.  

"The Federal Literature Jury has singled out Sibylle Berg as an innovative, committed and essential voice of contemporary German-language literature," the Federal Office of Culture said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Berg has written 15 novels as well as numerous theatre pieces and radio plays. Born in 1962 in East Germany, she received the Swiss Book Prize 2019 for her latest novel "GRM Brainfuck" and the Austrian Nestroy Prize 2019 for best play. Her first novel was published in 1997, one year after her arrival in Zurich. 

The jury also awarded the biennial Special Prize for Translation to Marion Graf. She has translated numerous German and Russian novelists and poets, including Markus Werner, Klaus Merz, Erika Burkart, Erica Pedretti, Jürg Schubiger, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Franz Hohler, Anna Akhmatova and Vladimir Odoyevsky. 

Both prizes are worth CHF40,000 ($41,250) each and will be handed over to the winners on February 13 in the Swiss capital Bern. 


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