Kim de l’Horizon wins the 15th Swiss Book Award with “Bloody Book”.

“Bloody Book” is the title of the novel for which Kim de l’Horizon will receive the 2022 Swiss Book Prize, the sponsorship announced. The prize was awarded on Sunday as part of the Buch Basel literary festival.

20/11/2022, 12:0020/11/2022, 14:52

Non-binary author Kim de l’Horizon won not only the Swiss Book Prize, but also the German Book Prize. The debut “Blutbuch” is also number one on the Swiss bestseller list.

Kim de l’Horizon at the 2022 Swiss Book Awards ceremony in Basel.Image: keystone

Kim de l’Horizon has created a non-binary narrative character who returns to her childhood and traces her family’s history, writes Sponsorship. Accordingly, Kim de l’Horizon turns “experience into literature—her own experience and that of her mother, grandmother, and the women before her.” Kim de l’Horizon tried different languages, voices and registers – without answering.

“Talk More About Love”

Kim de l’Horizon thanked her at the awards ceremony with a kind of sung prayer that should only talk about love. This after Kim de l’Horizon was asked about the hate almost only after the award of the German Book Prize. “I want to talk less about hate and more about love,” Kim de’ Horizon told Keystone-SDA, acknowledging that work still needs to be done on a societal level to address the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community. Kim de l’Horizon wanted queer and feminist groups to work together to improve society as a whole with common interests.

As for the actual writing process, Kim de l’Horizon said it was long and difficult. But it is worth “facing your own dark spots. Only then can you leave them behind.”

The award ceremony took place at the Theater Basel. The Swiss Book Prize is subsidized with CHF 30,000 for Kim de l’Horizon. Four other nominees Simon Fröhling (“Dürrst”), Lioba Happel (“Pommfritz aus der Hölle”), Thomas Hürlimann (“Der Rote Diamant”) and Thomas Röthlisberger (“Counting Stones”) will each receive 3,000 francs.

“Books need promotion”

The Swiss Book Prize is sponsored by the Basel Literature Association and the Swiss Book Trade and Publishers Association (SBVV). Eva Herzog, president of Basel Literature, state councilor of the SP and candidate for the federal council, complained that cultural coverage in the media is getting smaller and smaller. “Books need publicity,” she said. Last but not least, the price of the book is for that.

The Swiss Book Prize was created in 2008 as a marketing tool. The winner of the award is usually placed – newly or again – at the top of the bestseller list. Nominees also typically experience sales spurts. Since the Swiss Book Prize only considers Swiss literature written in German, the federal government does not support the prize. A total of 88 titles from 58 publishers were entered for the 15th year of the Swiss Book Award. (no)

Previous award winners

  • 2022: Kim de l’Horizon, “Blood Book”
  • 2021: Martina Clavadetscher, “The Invention of Disobedience”
  • 2020: Anna Stern, “All this here and now.”
  • 2019: Sibylle Berg, «GRM. brainfuck »
  • 2018: Peter Stamm, “The Gentle Indifference of the World”
  • 2017: Jonas Lüscher, “Power”
  • 2016: Christian Kracht, “The Dead”
  • 2015: Monique Schwitter, “One in the other”
  • 2014: Lukas Bärfuss, «Koala»
  • 2013: Jens Steiner, «Carom»
  • 2012: Peter von Matt, “The Gotthard Post Calf”
  • 2011: Catalin Dorian Florescu, «Jacob decided to love»
  • 2010: Melinda Nadj Abonji, “Doves Fly Up”
  • 2009: Ilma Rakusa, “More sea. memorial passages »
  • 2008: Rolf Lappert, «Swimming home»


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