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Unknown author wins top Swiss literary prize

Grytzko Mascioni has won the prestigious Schiller prize.

(Keystone / Delay)

Switzerland's most prestigious literary award, the Schiller prize, has been won by Grytzko Mascioni. His nomination comes as a complete surprise, because he is virtually unknown in the German-speaking part of the country.

The fact that Mascioni is unknown to most Swiss has led to speculation that he was awarded the prize for political reasons. Sceptics say the decision was based more on the desire to recognise a non German-speaking author than on his ability.

Mascioni is member of the smallest linguistic community in the country, the Italian-speaking part of Graubunden. His work is mostly unknown to the public, because it has not yet been translated.

Active in all literary fields, Mascioni has also done translations and press articles.

The Schiller prize comes with a cash award of SFr30,000 francs, and is meant to encourage literary achievement in all four of Switzerland's linguistic communities.

The official ceremony will take place in Mascioni's hometown of Poschiavo on Saturday.

swissinfo with agencies

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