SWISS GRAND PRIX FOR LITERATURE 2023 GOES TO LETA SEMADENI
Leta Semadeni receives the 2023 Swiss Grand Prix for Literature! In the words of the jury:
»Leta Semadeni’s work is one of rugged beauty that we rub up against just as the protagonists of her novels rub up against the often painful world«
Last year, Atlantis Verlag in Switzerland published her beauty of a literary love story, AMUR, GREAT RIVER to much praise already. Leta Semadenis’ novel leads the reader to the shores of the Amur and back to the mountain village of Tamangur. Out of poetic miniatures, Semadini creates a story about a love that you have only once in life: overpowering, searing, happy – a love it was not possible to hold on to and that Olga, like the author herself, has never let go.
Radu is his name, the man in the bus who towers over everyone else; when Olga takes the bus every day into the city in Ecuador, their eyes meet. She had already encountered Radu when she was a little girl at a boarding school in the mountains: she sat in the first row at his talk on the Siberian tiger. Today, Olga is tempted, as she stands at the mouth of the roaring river, to conjure his face. Radu, the great absentee, forever packing his suitcase to make his next film. The slamming of the door ripped her heart in two. Their favorite thing to do together was to travel to distant places. Or he stopped by her village and for a brief time, it seemed a bit like they would forge a life together: they sat on the grass, looked up at the jagged mountains, invited Elsa for a meal, and could succumb to the thrall of the tequila moon.