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Kim de l’Horizon wins Swiss Book Prize

Kim de l Horizon
Kim de l'Horizon addresses the audience after receiving the Swiss Book Prize in Basel on Sunday. © Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

The Bern native has won one of the country’ top literature awards for the debut novel, Blutbuch (Blood Book), a month after picking up the prestigious German Book Prize.

In choosing this year’s winner, the jury singled out de l’Horizon for “transforming experience into literature”.

Blutbuch does not give answers, but asks questions again and again,” said the jury. “With this novel, Kim de l’Horizon has entered new narrative territory.”


In their novel, the author, who identifies as neither female nor male, tells the story of a non-binary character who explores their family history, especially that of their mother, grandmother and the women who came before them.

Accepting the award at Theatre Basel on Sunday, de l’Horizon expressed their gratitude in a sung prayer.

“I would like to talk less about hate and more about love,” the author told news agency Keystone-SDA, adding there was still a lot of work to do to address the concerns of the LBGTQ+ community. The author was the target of online hate messages after receiving the German Book Prize last month, German media have reported, citing Blutbuch publisher Dumont.

De l’Horizon took home CHF30,000 ($31,420) in prize money. The Swiss Book Prize is one of the premiere literature prizes in the country and in the German-speaking world.

This article was updated on November 20 to include reaction from the winner.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR