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Irish tale wins Swiss book prize

A new Swiss book prize has been awarded as part of the Buch.08 international literary festival in Basel.

Zurich-born writer Rolf Lappert won the prize for his novel, Swimming Home, on Sunday.

The work describes the life of a man who is brought up in Ireland by his grandparents after his mother dies and his father abandons him.

Lappert, who currently lives in Ireland, will receive SFr50,000 ($42,000) for his winning entry. Others on the award shortlist, Lukas Bärfuss, Anja Jardine, Adolf Muschg and Peter Stamm, were given SFr2,500 each.

Each of the shortlisted authors presented their works to the public on Saturday during the fair.

The Swiss Book Prize is currently limited to German-language works.

Buch.08 replaced the former BuchBasel festival, which had to be cancelled for financial reasons. Organisers of this year’s fair were expecting up to 50,000 visitors.

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