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Bichsel wins literature prize for humour

Peter Bichsel is known for his eccentric characters. Keystone

The Swiss writer, Peter Bichsel, has won Germany's "literature prize for grotesque humour".

Announcing the prize in the German city of Kassel on Friday, the seven-member jury said Bichsel had a remarkable ability to use humour to portray the melancholy aspects of life.

Bichsel, who was born in Lucerne in 1934, is known for works such as “Cherubin Hammer” and his “Milchmann” (“Milkman”) stories, which take a sceptical view of humanity’s philanthropic deeds.

Bichsel’s books tend to be full of wayward and eccentric characters, particularly drunks, fools and children.

The prize, which comes with a cheque of 15,000 Deutschmarks (SFr12,800), was established in 1985 to honour writers with a gift for grotesque humour. It’s awarded by the Brückner-Kühner foundation.

Previous winners include: Loriot, Ernst Jandl, Robert Gernhardt, Hans Dieter Hüsch and Max Goldt.

swissinfo with agencies

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