Fiction at its finest

Peter Stamm

Peter Stamm is a Swiss novelist, short-story writer and radio dramatist, who prefers to write in German rather than in his native Schweizerdeutsch, which he speaks at home. He has just turned 50, having been born on January 18th 1963. Like his father, he studied accountancy and worked for five years as an accountant. And although he has long since left that world, his characters, the New York Times once noted, “often act and think like book-keepers, calculating their experiences in terms of ratios and costs, gains and losses.”
His cool and sparse writing style has been translated into English by Michael Hofmann. His best-known books are Unformed Landscape and, more recently, Seven Years.

“Peter Stamm’s talent is palpable,” said the reviewer, Sarah Fay, in the New York Times. “But what makes him a writer to read, and read often, is the way he renders contemporary life as a series of ruptures. Never entirely sure of their position, his characters engage in a constant effort to establish their equilibrium.”