Both local and foreign writers have found shelter, inspiration and adventure in Switzerland. In his new book, Basel-based author Padraig Rooney distils two centuries of literature with Swiss connections.
The school day had been long and parking near Basel’s Paper Mill and literary museum a challenge. Author and teacher Padraig Rooney needs a cup of coffee, maybe even something sweet. He follows the waitress to the dessert case with such gusto that I can’t help but tag along.
Tucking into a slab of chocolate cake at the museum café, he recalls how he came up with the idea for his book – The Gilded Chalet: Off-piste in Literary Switzerland – during a visit to the museum in 2008. He had gone to see an exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of the Earls of Ulster passing through Basel on their way to Rome.