Program 2017

Monday, July 3 2017
Curse and Blessing

Junot Díaz

Reading by the US Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the "greatest novel of the 21st century" (BBC).


Junot Díaz is the author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. At the festival Junot Díaz will present both, his collection of short stories, This Is How You Lose Her, and his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which has been hailed as the greatest novel of the 21st century so far in a poll of leading critics by BBC Culture. 


Host: Blas Ulibarri
German Speaker: Thomas Sarbacher

Photo: Marion Ettlinger

This Event is held in English. However, some parts of the books will be read in German.

Doors: 7 PM
Reading: 8 PM
Tickets: 35 CHF / with discount 25 CHF

Tuesday July 4 2017
Animal Lives Matter

John M. Coetzee

Nobel Prize winning author John M. Coetzee presents a hybrid piece between lecture and narrative. The subject of his rare public reading is the relations between human beings and animals.


The Nobelprize-winner presents exclusively for the festival an unpublished literary text called 'The Glass Abattoir': How should a good son react when his mother, in the midst of a late-life crisis, sends him a mass of literary materials concerned with the relations between human beings and animals - not only essays and diaries but denunciations of contentious practices like vivisection and factory farming - and demands that he respond?


John M. Coetzee, born 1940 in South Africa, relocated to Adelaide in 2002, where he became Australian citizen. Coetzee is widely perceived as "inarguably the most celebrated and decorated living English-language author". Before receiving the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature, he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, CNA Prize (thrice), the Prix Femina Étranger, The Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Booker Prize (twice), among other accolades.

The event is held in English. However, some sections of the text will be read in German, too. 

After the reading the author will sign his books.

German Speaker: Miriam Japp
Photo: Philippe MATSAS/Opale/Leemage/laif, 2010

Doors: 7 PM
Reading: 8 PM
Tickets: 40 CHF / with discount 30 CHF.

Wednesday, July 5 2017
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex – part I

Nora Bossong

Where lust and money meet – the award-winning german author explores the business of love. 


Nora Bossong dares to delve deep into that secret pleasure zone where lust is hard work and desire collides head-on with capitalism: Nora Bossong explores the red-light district. There, she meets innocent students at dildo presentations and jaded producers of porn icks. She visits rundown sex cinemas and the pasta-salad buffet at a swinger’s club. She interviews women on the game and administrators of drive-in »sex boxes«. What is her own role in this well-managed orgy? With sparkling powers of observation and essayistic elegance, Nora Bossong writes about a society that tries more and more to wash vice until it is squeaky clean. And she asks why old-fashioned, plush red-light district and its modern equivalents only cater to the needs of men and never to women. 


Host:  Guido Kalberer (Tages-Anzeiger)

Photo:  Hassiepen

This Event is held in German.

Doors: 7 PM
Reading: 8 PM

Tickets: 30 CHF / with discount 20 CHF. *

(* included in the ticket: sex movies screening in part II of the evening)

Wednesday, July 5 2017 

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex – part II

Sex Movies, live

A guaranteed xxx-rated selection of french sex movies from the silent movie era - with lustful live music by Steve Buchanan & Dadaglobal

Dropping off all the clothes in front of the camera happend already before 1900 in France. A few years later, the first pornographic films (intended for the use in brothels), which not only depict the act but embed it into action, were created. The marriage of the art of love and film making and love art produced some strange effects: every genre and every taste was being covered - from history film to zoophilia. It seems as if the modern porn industry produces nothing but footnotes to their silent predecessors ...

Curated by the Institute for Incoherent Cinematography (IOIC), with live music by Steve Buchanan & Dadaglobal (saxophone, guitar, electronics).


Host: Pablo Assandri

Doors: 9.15 PM
Begin: 9.45 PM
Tickets: 20 CHF / with discount 15 CHF

Thursday, July 6 2017 
Light and darkness – part I

Anthony McCarten

Double Oscar nominated screenwriter and bestselling author Anthony McCarten presents his new novel Brilliance.


Short of money, the inventor Thomas Edison is captivated by the charismatic figure of J.P. Morgan, the “world’s banker”. Accepting Morgan’s glittering offer of almost unlimited cash in return for helping him change the way the world does business, Edison sees himself descend from being the godlike inventor of electric light to being complicit in the invention of the electric chair. Ever more enmeshed in Morgan’s personal life, he becomes infatuated by a world of privilege and power, where duty and desire, faith and immorality are thrown into conflict, ultimately threatening his own spiritual and creative survival. Witty, magical, furious, Brilliance, Anthony McCarten’s ambitious new novel, brings to life the birth of the modern era and provides an indelible portrait of the times in which we now live.


Anthony McCarten is New Zealand-born, acclaimed novelist and filmmaker. He has also written twelve stage plays, including the worldwide success Ladies’ Night, which won France’s Molière Prize for Best Comedy in 2001. McCarten produced and wrote the international film hit The Theory of Everything (2014) about the life of Prof. Stephen Hawking. For this film McCarten received two Academy Award Nominations as producer and screenwriter, and he won a BAFTA Award for the Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay.


Host: Mikael Krogerus
German Speaker: Jonas Rüegg
Photo: Private / Diogenes

This Event is held in English. However, some parts of the books will be read in German.


Doors: 7 PM
Reading: 8 PM

Tickets: 35 CHF * / with discount 25 CHF *

 (* included in the ticket: concert of Anna Aaron in part II of the evening)

Thursday, July 6 2017 
Light and darkness – part II

Anna Aaron

Anna Aaron is one of the most talented and exciting singer-songwriters in Switzerland. At the festival she presents her dark and disturbing songs in a solo set.

The music of Anna Aaron has an almost mystical fascination on the listeners, which is hard to resist. Whoever indulges himself to it itself inevitably in a sombre and dense sound cosmos that oscillates between dark melancholy and expressive rage. These waves of emotions are carried by her versatile voice, which in one moment rudely and wildly almost starts to scream and in the next moment seems to float away as tender as a gust of wind. (Photo: Tobias Meuli)



Doors: 9:15 PM

Concert: 9.45 PM


Tickets: 20 CHF / with discount 15 CHF.


Friday, July 7 2017

Judith Hermann

Her fans will immediately recognize the handwriting of their favorite author in Lettipark, the latest short story collection of Judith Herman, who in 1998 became a literary star.


Judith Hermann was awarded numerous prizes, including the Kleist Prize and the Friedrich Hölderlin Prize, celebrated for the unmistakable tone, the elegance and beauty of her language, with which she described the aimless life of her contemporaries. She also does this in her new short story collection: Hermann's figures, like their author, have grown older, are married or divorced, have children or want some. The uncertain longing of the youth has developed into a sober melancholy of mid-forties - in which a tiny spark of a possible new beginnings still glows.


Host: Monika Schärer
Photo: Gaby Gerster

Doors: 6.30 PM

Tickets: 35 CHF / with discount 25 CHF *

(* included in the ticket: concert of Frank Spilker in part II of the evening)


Frank Spilker (Die Sterne)

The frontman of the legendary Hamburg band "Die Sterne" plays a selection of his best songs and reads from his debut novel  It doesn't interest me, but I can't prove it

His girlfriend gone, his design studio in Hamburg broke – it’s all a bit too much for Thomas Troppelmann. He gets into a train and lets himself drift through Germany and along memory lane, until he finds himself in a small spa town, the like of which he has been trying to avoid since childhood …


Frank Spiker, the brains behind the legendary Hamburg band Die Sterne, has finally written his first novel: Es interessiert mich nicht, aber das kann ich nicht beweisen, which he will be reading from at the Festival. But don’t worry, he is also bringing his music along!

Doors: 8.15 PM
Concert: 8.45 PM

Tickets: 20 CHF / with discount 15 CHF. 

Saturday, July 8 2017
Brave New Voices – part I

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

The shooting star from Kenya reads from her highly praised novel Dust 


Dust is an incredibly absorbing and amazing read. The novel is beautifully written, deeply poetic and uniquely profound. It portrays the violent history of Kenya in the second half of the 20th century. Reviewing Dust in The New York Times, Taiye Selasi wrote: "In this dazzling novel you will find the entirety of human experience — tearshed, bloodshed, lust, love — in staggering proportions."

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor was was awarded the Caine Prize for African Writing. Her novel Dust was shortlisted for the Folio Prize in 2015 and won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. 

Host: Jennifer Khakshouri (SRF 2) 
German Speaker: Ariela Sarbacher
Photo: Footprints Press Ltd

This Event is held in English. However, some parts of the books will be read in German.


Doors: 6.30 PM

Tickets: 30 CHF / with discount 20 CHF *

(* included in the ticket: concert of JOZIA in part II of the evening)

Saturday, July 8 2017
Brave new voices – part II


The multitalented Pop Poet and Singer/Songwriter from South Africa  presents her Debut Album.

Jozia is a consummate musical chameleon with an adventurous spirit and a distinctive artistic vision. She loves to experiment with styles, sounds and words, blending genres like acoustic folk, soul, pop and indie rock. And yet her output is so distinctly her own; perhaps it‘s her emotive and multifaceted vocals or the courage of her unconventional songwriting.


Spiced up with wordplays, poetic ambiguity and a subtle humour, she explores the big themes in life that really matter: Love and loss, mariages and cows, otherness and alienation, puberty and identity, marihuana and democracy, and, of course, the unsolved mistery of mother-daughter relationships. Even if we don‘t understand the words – Jozia sings in Sepedi, Zulu, Xhsosa, Xevenda and English - the pure intensity and emotionality of her songs unfold a magic that we cannot escape.  

Watch her music videos:  ,Dlozilame', 'Mamokebe',' Julio'


Photo: Mara Truog

Doors: 8.45 PM
Concert: 9.15 PM

Tickets: 20 CHF / with discount 15 CHF.

Sunday, July 9 2017
Words on Stage – Best of Performance Poetry

Jochen Distelmeyer (Blumfeld) / Jurczok 1001 / Amina Abdulkadir / Ariane von Graffenried

The evening brings together some of the best Pop poets and Spoken Word performers of the German speaking Area.

Jochen Distelmeyer – Pop Concert
Musician, composer and poet, best known as the frontman of the Blumfeld. The Band is counted among the most significant representatives of the Hamburger Schule and are considered to be one of the most influential and successful combos of the German music scene in the 90ies.

Amina Abdulkadir – Spoken Word

Poetic, funny, profound and playful: Amina Abdulkadir has been shaking up the Swiss Poetry Slam scene for several years now.


Jurczok 1001 – Spoken Beats

The Zurich-based Spoken Word pioneer takes us on an excursion  and reads his shirt stories created in New York. Right, shirt not short. Extremely entertaining. Promised.

Ariane von Graffenried – Spoken Word

The virtuoso performer from Bern is a is a story-teller of the secret and hidden, an equally rough and gallant rapporteur from the provincial underworld.

Host:  Patti Basler.

This Event is held in German. 

Photos:  Sven Sindt (Distelmeyer), Stefan Ganz (Abdulkadir), Michel Gilgen (Jurczok), Alexander Jaquemet (v. Graffenried)

Doors: 7 PM
Tickets: 35 CHF / with discount
 25 CHF