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Famous Writers from Switzerland

Updated June 8, 2017 40.1k views382 items

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

    Hermann Hesse

    Dec. at 85 (1877-1962)

    BirthplaceCalw, Germany

    NationalitySwitzerland, Germany

    WorksSiddhartha, Steppenwolf, Kurgast: Aufzeichnungen von einer Badener Kur, Beneath the Wheel, The Glass Bead Game

    Hermann Karl Hesse (German: [ˈhɛɐ̯man ˈhɛsə]; July 2, 1877 – August 9, 1962) was a German-born... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Alain de Botton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    BirthplaceSwitzerland, European Free Trade Association, Zurich District, Zürich, Canton of Zurich


    WorksStatus Anxiety, The Architecture of Happiness, Status Anxiety, The Art of Travel, The Romantic Movement: Sex

    Alain de Botton, FRSL (; born 20 December 1969) is a Swiss-born British philosopher and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    Dec. at 66 (1712-1778)

    BirthplaceGeneva, Switzerland


    WorksThe social contract, Confessions, Reveries of a Solitary Walker, Émile, Julie

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (UK: , US: ; French: [ʒɑ̃ˈʒak ʁuˈso]; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Elias Canetti is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Elias Canetti

    Dec. at 89 (1905-1994)

    BirthplaceSoutheast Europe, Ruse Province, Severen tsentralen, Ruse, Bulgaria

    NationalitySwitzerland, Austria, United Kingdom, Bulgaria

    WorksAuto-da-Fé, The Voices of Marrakesh, The secret heart of the clock : notes, aphorisms, fragments

    Elias Canetti (; Bulgarian: Елиас Канети; 25 July 1905 – 14 August 1994) was a German-language... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Carl Jung is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Carl Jung

    Dec. at 86 (1875-1961)

    BirthplaceKesswil, Switzerland


    WorksMemories, Dreams, Reflections, Psychological Types, Man and His Symbols

    Carl Gustav Jung ( YUUNG, German: [kaɐ̯l ˈjʊŋ]; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Philippe Jaccottet is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    BirthplaceMoudon, Switzerland

    NationalitySwitzerland, France

    WorksHyperion, Words in the Air, La semaison. 3, Carnets, 1995-1998

    Philippe Jaccottet (French: [filip ʒakotɛ]; born in Moudon, Switzerland, 30 June 1925) is a... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Jean-Luc Godard is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    BirthplaceÎle-de-France, Europe, Metropolitan France, France, Paris

    NationalitySwitzerland, France

    WorksBreathless, Pierrot le Fou, Weekend, Vivre Sa Vie, Contempt

    Jean-Luc Godard (French: [ʒɑ̃lyk ɡɔdaʁ]; born 3 December 1930) is a French-Swiss film... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Alain Delon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    BirthplaceSceaux, France


    WorksLe choc, Boomerang, Le Battant, Dancing Machine, A Crime

    Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon (born 8 November 1935) is a French actor and businessman. He... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Albert Einstein

    Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)

    BirthplaceUlm, Germany

    NationalitySwitzerland, Weimar Republic, United States of America, German Empire, Austria-Hungary

    WorksOut of My Later Years, Ideas and Opinions, The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Volume 1: The Early Years: 1879-1902, Sidelights on Relativity

    Albert Einstein ( EYEN-styne; German: [ˈalbɛɐ̯t ˈʔaɪnʃtaɪn] (listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Maximilian Schell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Maximilian Schell

    Dec. at 84 (1930-2014)

    BirthplaceVienna, Austria

    NationalitySwitzerland, Austria

    WorksFirst Love, My Sister Maria, Marlene, Trotta

    Maximilian Schell (8 December 1930 – 1 February 2014) was an Austrian-born Swiss film and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Barbet Schroeder is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    BirthplaceTehran, Iran

    NationalityIran, Switzerland, France

    WorksMaîtresse, General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait, More, Tricheurs, The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)

    Barbet Schroeder (born 26 August 1941) is an Swiss film director and producer who started his... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Karl Barth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Karl Barth

    Dec. at 82 (1886-1968)

    BirthplaceBasel, Switzerland, European Free Trade Association, Basel-Stadt


    WorksGod in action, Christmas, The Göttingen dogmatics, Der Götze wackelt, The word of God and the word of man

    Karl Barth (; German: [baɐ̯t]; (1886-05-10)May 10, 1886 – (1968-12-10)December 10, 1968) was a... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Friedrich Dürrenmatt

    Dec. at 69 (1921-1990)

    BirthplaceKonolfingen, Switzerland


    WorksThe Marriage of Mr. Mississippi, It Happened in Broad Daylight, The Judge and His Hangman, The Assignment, Friedrich Durrenmatt: Selected Writings

    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (German: [ˈfriːdrɪç ˈdʏrənˌmat]; 5 January 1921 – 14 December 1990) was a... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Kate Burton is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    BirthplaceGeneva, Switzerland

    NationalityUnited States of America,Switzerland

    WorksEver Here I Be

    Katherine Burton (born September 10, 1957) is a Swiss-born Welsh-American actress, daughter of... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Hans Küng is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Hans Küng

    Age: 91

    BirthplaceSursee, Switzerland


    WorksDas Christentum, Ewiges Leben?, The Council and reunion, Musik und Religion, A global ethic for global politics and economics

    Hans Küng (pronounced [ˈhans ˈkʏŋ]; born 19 March 1928) is a Swiss Catholic priest,... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Yehudi Menuhin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Yehudi Menuhin

    Dec. at 83 (1916-1999)

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    NationalitySwitzerland, United States of America, United Kingdom

    WorksLecciones de Vida - El Arte Como Posibilidad, La légende du violon, Wunderkind und Weltgewissen, Mendelssohn Violin Concert, Violin: six lessons with Yehudi Menuhin

    Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, (22 April 1916 – 12 March 1999) was an American-born violinist... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Hans Urs von Balthasar is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Hans Urs von Balthasar

    Dec. at 83 (1905-1988)

    BirthplaceCanton of Lucerne, Switzerland, European Free Trade Association, Lucerne District, Lucerne


    Worksedy under grace, Theo-Drama Theological Dramatic Theory, Triple couronne, New elucidations, Théologie de l'histoire

    Hans Urs von Balthasar (12 August 1905 – 26 June 1988) was a Swiss theologian and Catholic... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Carl Zuckmayer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Carl Zuckmayer

    Dec. at 81 (1896-1977)

    BirthplaceNackenheim, Germany

    NationalityGerman Reich, Switzerland, United States of America, German Empire

    WorksThe Blue Angel, Decision Before Dawn, Rembrandt, Die Jungfrau auf dem Dach, The Girl on the Roof

    Carl Zuckmayer (27 December 1896 – 18 January 1977) was a German writer and playwright. His... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Karl Jaspers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Karl Jaspers

    Dec. at 86 (1883-1969)

    BirthplaceEurasia, Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany

    NationalitySwitzerland, Germany

    WorksMyth and Christianity, The question of German guilt, Die Geistige Situation Der Zeit, Einführung in die Philosophie, Strindberg et Van Gogh

    Karl Theodor Jaspers (; German: [ˈkaɐ̯l ˈjaspɐs]; 23 February 1883 – 26 February 1969) was a... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Le Corbusier is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Le Corbusier

    Dec. at 78 (1887-1965)

    BirthplaceLa Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

    NationalitySwitzerland, France

    WorksToward an Architecture, Voyage d'Allemagne, Le Corbusier, architect, painter

    Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, who was better known as Le Corbusier, was a Swiss-French... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Max Frisch is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Max Frisch

    Dec. at 80 (1911-1991)

    BirthplaceZürich, Switzerland


    WorksDer Briefwechsel, Homo Faber, Stiller, Roman, Stich-Worte

    Max Rudolf Frisch was a Swiss playwright and novelist. Frisch's works focused on problems of... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Georges Schwizgebel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    BirthplaceSwitzerland, Reconvilier, European Free Trade Association, Canton of Bern, Bernese Jura


    WorksRomance, Retouches, Perspectives, The Year of the Deer, The Ravishing of Frank N. Stein

    Georges Schwizgebel (born 28 September 1944 in Reconvilier, Switzerland) is a Swiss animation... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Marc Forster is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    BirthplaceIllertissen, Germany

    NationalitySwitzerland, Germany

    WorksEverything Put Together, Loungers, LX Forty

    Marc Forster (born 30 November 1969) is a German-born Swiss filmmaker, best known for... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Blaise Cendrars is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    Blaise Cendrars

    Dec. at 74 (1887-1961)

    BirthplaceCanton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, European Free Trade Association, La Chaux-de-Fonds District, La Chaux-de-Fonds

    NationalitySwitzerland, France

    WorksSutter's Gold, Films Without Images, Shadow, Anthologie Negre, Dan Yack

    Frédéric-Louis Sauser (1 September 1887 – 21 January 1961), better known as Blaise Cendrars,... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Robert Frank is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Switzerland

    BirthplaceSwitzerland, European Free Trade Association, Zurich District, Zürich, Canton of Zurich

    NationalitySwitzerland, United States of America

    WorksThe Americans, Me and My Brother, Robert Frank and American politics, One hour, Flamingo

    Robert Frank (born November 9, 1924) is a Swiss-American photographer and documentary... more on Wikipedia