Geneva Literary Aid Society

The GLAS Hour – Meet the Author: Padraig Rooney (30.03.2020)

We hope all our supporters, families and friends are staying healthy and well. Physical distancing should not mean social distancing, so we’ve decided to run an occasional series of online Meet the Author interviews over Zoom. Much depends though on the response to this first one and whether there is sufficient interest.

It is intended to be a bit of fun, a way of keeping in touch during these challenging days, and continuing our support to the arts world.

First off, is the Basel-based Irish poet, short story writer and novelist, Padraig Rooney, who is the author of The Gilded Chalet: Off-Piste in Literary Switzerland, an entertaining and sometimes provocative overview of Switzerland’s success in attracting the literary giants of the last couple of centuries to spend time within its borders. From Byron to Joyce, from Hemingway to Nabokov, from Mann to Highsmith… their Swiss sojourns often inspired or facilitated their work in profound ways.

Monday 30 March 2020, 20:00 CEST

To join the stream, click the link below before the event begins. It will enable you to download and install the Zoom application.

Padraig Rooney

What the critics say…

A lively tour through Swiss and literary history, touching on the famous, infamous and overlooked alike, The Gilded Chalet is thoroughly absorbing.” – THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

With a sharp eye for detail and a historian’s capacious knowledge, Padraig Rooney has written a superbly amusing guide to all the writers who’ve been drawn to or emerged from Switzerland.
EDMUND WHITE, author of The Flâneur

A fascinating look behind the scenery at how Switzerland has influenced and affected some of the greatest authors and some of my favourite books.
DICCON BEWES, author of Slow Train to Switzerland

An enjoyable wander around literary Switzerland. His journey sees him track the snow prints, shattered booze-glasses and missed spy drops of the likes of Rousseau, Byron, Hemingway and le Carré.

A gossipy feel [with a ] touch of Clive James in its humour. What has Switzerland ever done for us? Quite a bit.

Rooney is almost casually brilliant on Joyce, Nabokov, Mann … his observations on how and why writers embed Switzerland into their work are often brilliant.

A big thank you also to those who came along to our last event, Howie the Rookie, which raised CHF5,200 for one of our favourite causes the Edith Wilkins Foundation for Street Children. I will provide an update on how things are going with the kids in Darjeeling, which is under lockdown for the last three weeks.