The work of the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based author, journalist and literary critic Jean-Bernard Vuillème (b. 1950) comprises roughly fifteen books of different genres. Apart from novels, short stories, and novellas he has also written essays and nonfiction books on historical topics such as the biography of the Neuchâtel chocolate manufacturer Suchard. His long list of novels - beginning with Le Règne de Pléthore (1983) up to his latest book M. Carl & Cie (2011) - includes two works that have been translated into German. Face à dos (1999) was published under the German title of Mit dem Gesicht zum Rücken (2003). The other, Le fils du lendemain (2006), an autobiographical novel that tells the story of a man in search of his identity through tracking down his biological father, was released in German under the title Der Sohn danach in 2010. His latest book project is also linked to his life history in the sense that it reviews all the places the author lived in between 1950 and 2012. It blends the recollections of the locations with the narratives offered by the people the author visits in these special “memory places”. At the core of the narrative structure, the place as the “generator of stories” (Jean-Bernard Vuillème) represents a key motif in his oeuvre for which he has been awarded, among others, the prize of the Schweizerische Schillerstiftung (1995) and the Prix Bibliomedia (2012).
With a project grant of CHF 10,000 the Foundation Board acknowledges an important representative of modern French literature and supports the work on a promising novel in which places serve as narrative intersections between past and present.