Writers Famous Writers from Switzerland

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List of famous writers from Switzerland, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Switzerland is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Swiss writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Switzerland and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

This is a list that features writers like René Gardi and Hans Jenny.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Swiss writers?" and "Which writers are from Switzerland?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Switzerland in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Switzerland, but they're all of Switzerland descent.

1
Hermann Hesse is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 85 (1877-1962) Hermann Hesse was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual's search ...more

2
Alain de Botton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 49 Alain de Botton, FRSL is a Swiss writer, philosopher, and television presenter who currently lives in the United Kingdom. His books and television programmes discuss various contemporary ...more

3
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 66 (1712-1778) Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern ...more

4
Elias Canetti is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 89 (1905-1994) Elias Canetti was a German language author, born in Bulgaria, and later a British citizen. He was a modernist novelist, playwright, memoirist, and non-fiction writer. He won the Nobel Prize in ...more

5
Carl Jung is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 86 (1875-1961) Carl Gustav Jung, often referred to as C. G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also ...more

6
Philippe Jaccottet is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 93 Philippe Jaccottet is a francophone poet and translator from the Canton of Vaud, in Switzerland.

7
Jean-Luc Godard is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 88 Jean-Luc Godard is a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic. He is often identified with the 1960s French film movement La Nouvelle Vague, or "New Wave". Like his New ...more

8
Alain Delon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 83 Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon is a French actor and businessman, with French-Swiss dual citizenship since 1999. He rose quickly to stardom, and by the age of 23 was already being compared ...more

9
Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 76 (1879-1955) Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the ...more

10
Maximilian Schell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 84 (1930-2014) Maximilian Schell was an Austrian and Swiss film and stage actor, who also wrote, directed and produced some of his own films. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1961 American film ...more

11
Barbet Schroeder is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 77 Barbet Schroeder is a Swiss-born French film director and producer who started his career in French cinema in the 1960s, working together with directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques ...more

12
Karl Barth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 82 (1886-1968) Karl Barth was a Swiss Reformed theologian who is often regarded as the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century. His influence expanded well beyond the academic realm to ...more

13
Friedrich Dürrenmatt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 69 (1921-1990) Friedrich Dürrenmatt was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author's work ...more

14
Kate Burton is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 61 Katherine "Kate" Burton is a Swiss-born Welsh-American actress and the daughter of actor Richard Burton and Sybil Burton. On television, Burton received critical acclaim for ...more

15
Hans Küng is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 90 Hans Küng is a Swiss Catholic priest, theologian, and author. Since 1995 he has been President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic. He is notable for his rejection of the doctrine of papal ...more

16
Yehudi Menuhin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 83 (1916-1999) Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE was an American-born violinist and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the United Kingdom. He became a citizen of Switzerland in 1970, and ...more

17
Hans Urs von Balthasar is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 83 (1905-1988) Hans Urs von Balthasar was a Swiss theologian and Catholic priest who was to be created a cardinal of the Catholic Church but died before the ceremony. He is considered one of the most important ...more

18
Carl Zuckmayer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 81 (1896-1977) Carl Zuckmayer was a German writer and playwright.

19
Karl Jaspers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 86 (1883-1969) Karl Theodor Jaspers was a German psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers ...more

20
Le Corbusier is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 78 (1887-1965) Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, who was better known as Le Corbusier, was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called ...more

21
Max Frisch is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 80 (1911-1991) Max Rudolf Frisch was a Swiss playwright and novelist. Frisch's works focused on problems of identity, individuality, responsibility, morality, and political commitment. His use of irony is a ...more

22
Georges Schwizgebel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 74 Georges Schwizgebel, born on 28 September 1944 in Reconvilier, Switzerland, is a Swiss animation film director whose paint-on-glass-animated 2004 film L'Homme sans ombre won various awards.

23
Marc Forster is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 49 Marc Forster is a German-Swiss filmmaker and screenwriter. He is best known for directing the films Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland, Stranger than Fiction, The Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace, ...more

24
Blaise Cendrars is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 74 (1887-1961) Frédéric-Louis Sauser, better known as Blaise Cendrars, was a Swiss-born novelist and poet who became a naturalized French citizen in 1916. He was a writer of considerable ...more

25
Robert Frank is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 94 Robert Frank is an American photographer and documentary filmmaker. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his ...more

26
Johanna Spyri is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Johanna Spyri Died at 74 (1827-1901) Johanna Spyri was a Swiss-born author of children's stories, and is best known for her book Heidi. Born Johanna Louise Heusser in the rural area of Hirzel, Switzerland, as a child she spent ...more

27
Marthe Keller is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 73 Marthe Keller is a Swiss actress and opera director. She studied ballet as a child, but stopped after a skiing accident at age 16. She changed to acting, and worked in Berlin at the Schiller ...more

28
Alain Tanner is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 89 Alain Tanner is a Swiss film director.

29
Robert Walser is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 78 (1878-1956) Robert Walser, was a German-speaking Swiss writer. Walser is understood to be the missing link between Kleist and Kafka. "Indeed," writes Susan Sontag, "At the time [of Walser’s ...more

30
Dani Levy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 61 Dani Levy is a film maker, theatrical director and actor.

31
Jean Piaget is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 84 (1896-1980) Jean Piaget was a Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children. His theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together ...more

32
Gottfried Keller is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 71 (1819-1890) Gottfried Keller was a Swiss poet and writer of German literature. Best known for his novel Green Henry, he became one of the most popular narrators of literary realism in the late 19th

33
Charles Ferdinand Ramuz is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 69 (1878-1947) Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz was a French-speaking Swiss writer. He was born in Lausanne in the canton of Vaud and was educated at the University of Lausanne. He taught briefly in nearby Aubonne, and ...more

34
Emil Ludwig is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Emil Ludwig Died at 67 (1881-1948) Emil Ludwig was a German author, known for his biographies and study of historical "greats."

35
Marc Allégret is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 73 (1900-1973) Marc Allégret was a French screenwriter and film director.

36
Wolfgang Pauli is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 58 (1900-1958) Wolfgang Ernst Pauli was an Austrian-born Swiss theoretical physicist and one of the pioneers of quantum physics. In 1945, after having been nominated by Albert Einstein, Pauli received the ...more

37
Daniel Schmid is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 65 (1941-2006) Daniel Schmid was a Swiss theatre and film director. In 1982, his film Hécate was entered into the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival. His film Beresina, or the Last Days of ...more

38
Paracelsus is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 48 (1493-1541) Paracelsus was a Swiss German Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist. He founded the discipline of toxicology. He is also known as a revolutionary for ...more

39
Benjamin Constant is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 63 (1767-1830) Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque, or simply Benjamin Constant, was a Swiss-French political activist and writer on politics and religion. He was the author of a partly biographical ...more

40
Claude Goretta is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 89 Claude Goretta is an internationally successful television producer and film director. His 1973 film L'Invitation was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. His 1981 ...more

41
Golo Mann is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 85 (1909-1994) Golo Mann, born Angelus Gottfried Thomas Mann, was a popular historian, essayist and writer. He was the third child of the novelist Thomas Mann and his wife Katia Mann. Golo Mann originally a ...more

42
Christian Frei is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 59 Christian Frei is a Swiss filmmaker and film producer. He is mostly known for his films War Photographer, The Giant Buddhas and Space Tourists. Since 2006, Christian Frei has been an associate ...more

43
Albert Cohen is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 86 (1895-1981) Albert Cohen was a Greek-born Romaniote Jewish Swiss novelist who wrote in French. He worked as a civil servant for various international organizations, such as the International Labour ...more

44
Robert Pinget is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 78 (1919-1997) Robert Pinget was a major avant-garde French writer, born in Switzerland, who wrote several novels and other prose pieces that drew comparison to Beckett and other major Modernist writers. He ...more

45
Léa Pool is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
age 68 Léa Pool is a Swiss-Canadian filmmaker who has also taught film at UQAM. Her 1986 film Anne Trister was entered into the 36th Berlin International Film Festival. Her 1999 film Emporte-moi ...more

46
Jacob Burckhardt is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 79 (1818-1897) Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt was a historian of art and culture, and an influential figure in the historiography of both these fields. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural ...more

47
Francoise Giroud is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 87 (1916-2003) Françoise Giroud, born France Gourdji was a French journalist, screenwriter, writer and politician.

48
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 78 (1926-2004) Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, where she first discussed her theory ...more

49
Franz Hohler is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Franz Hohler age 75 Franz Hohler was born on 1 March 1943 in Biel/Bienne. He lives as an author and cabaret performer in Zurich. He is the author of one-man programs and satirical programs for television and radio. ...more

50
Louis Agassiz is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland
Died at 66 (1807-1873) Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz, commonly known as Louis Agassiz, was a Swiss-born and European-trained biologist and geologist recognized as an innovative and prodigious scholar of Earth's natural ...more