Good news about my Swiss book deal

2015 First batch 418

I am delighted to announce that I have signed a book deal with Swiss publisher Bergli Books for a non-fiction book about Switzerland. I believe this country is hopelessly misunderstood and a little unloved. Armed only with a cheap laptop, I intend to stress-test the stereotypes, and change the narrative about Switzerland.

People always say you should write the book only you could write. That’s what I’m doing now. I came to Switzerland in 2003 on the love train (actually an Aer Lingus flight to Geneva). Since then I have experienced the country on many levels – as an immigrant, a journalist, a foreign spouse, and mother of three Swiss children.

Churchill famously said that Russia was a riddle, inside a mystery, wrapped in an enigma. At times Switzerland has felt like that to me too. But over the past decade of covering Swiss news for swissinfo.ch, and navigating everyday life, I feel I have stripped away the layers and got closer to understanding the Swiss soul. I’m ready to share the good and the bad about the Swiss.

This book will introduce readers to the real face of Switzerland, from presidents to poets, from bankers to street sweepers. At the same time it will paint a faithful picture of the political, cultural, economic and historic landscape.

Recently I wrote about rejection on this blog because it was becoming my specialized subject. I was getting used to it. In fact I was even getting good at it. After all that I can’t tell you how good it feels to take this long-awaited step towards being an author.

The title of the book has yet to be confirmed. The release date is also still being worked out by teams of experts (well maybe one small team), but I’m expecting it to be sooner rather than later. In the meantime I have a lot of work to do and will keep you posted on progress.

I’ll leave you with one small interesting fact. Bergli Books is an imprint of the Swiss publisher Schwabe, which was established in Basel in 1488, making it the oldest publishing house in the world.

28 thoughts on “Good news about my Swiss book deal

  1. Yes! Many, many congratulations, Clare. You are definitely the right writer for this one and I’m sure it’ll be fantastic. Exciting times for you – enjoy!

  2. Oh, my gosh! I’m so happy–full of smiles. I love your brief introduction to what you’re going to write. Being both an outsider and an insider, you’re in the perfect position to write a good truthful explanation of Switzerland.

    Wow! The oldest publishing house in the world. That IS an interesting little fact.

  3. Congratulations, Clare – having enjoyed your blog posts about Switzerland, I’m sure the book Is going to be great. As someone published with one of the youngest publishing houses in the world, I’m mega impressed you’re with the oldest – wow!

    1. Thank you so much Anne. I hope the finished book will appeal to lots of people. I’m also amazed by the history of Schwabe. You come across that sort of incredible continuity quite often in Switzerland. Bergli Books has been around since 1988, a slightly less dramatic record.
      Thankfully there’s room for all shapes and ages of publishing house to thrive, especially young dynamic companies like Inspired Quill.

      1. I did think of doing it when I was working in the wine trade and had ‘a thousand experiences’. That’s fading into the past though, and I’m not sure people want to know about France in the 1990s. It’s changed so much since then, and so have I. I’m just a citizen now. I’ve lost the points of comparison with another culture that makes France ‘different’. That’s what English readers want, after all—a good laugh about how idiotic the French are. You can only do that if you live here as an outsider and keep an outsider’s ignorance—they’re just people.

      2. I think you’re right – there is a window where you have accumulated enough experience and knowledge to be able to write about a country in some depth, while still viewing things through an outsider’s eyes. After that, it all becomes too familiar and maybe less interesting to you as an observer.
        Apropos your years in the wine trade, you could try out some memoir pieces on the blog.

      3. I’d be afraid of libel actions! Some of the very strange people I met/worked with could well be dead given their lifestyle, but the ones who aren’t might well not like having their quirky past raked over.

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