Markus Werner (December 27, 1944 in Eschlikon, canton of Thurgau) is a German-speaking Swiss writer, the author of Zündels Abgang (Zündel’s Departure).
Markus Werner was born in Eschlikon (canton of Thurgau). In 1948 the family moved to Thayngen (canton of Schaffhausen) where Werner finished school and passed the general qualification for university entrance in 1965. At the University of Zürich he studied German, Philosophy and Psychology. In 1974 he completed a doctorate on Max Frisch, whose writing has an important influence on Werner. From 1975 to 1985, he worked as a main teacher, and from 1985 to 1990 as an assistant professor at the Kantonsschule (= preparatory high school) in Schaffhausen. He has dedicated himself exclusively to writing since 1990. Werner today lives in Schaffhausen.
The protagonists of Werner’s novels, have quit their jobs. Out of their eyes' view, Werner laconically describes everyday life astonished, with distress and with humour. The results are a lot of strictly calculated scenes and episodes, in which the course of the world appears in too sharp and sometimes laughable details, that Werner’s protagonists cannot deal with. Just this seemingly harmless everyday perfidies let them break down: the deaf ears of their fellow men, their cold, headstrong souls. Human deficiencies are described in a tragicomical way. Werner sees the self-evident as something strange, is astonished and wonders like a child. His protagonists want the right to make mistakes and have deficiencies (“self-assuredness is the sign of the yokel”, in: Die kalte Schulter, a Chinese saying). They crave for love, but at the same time curse the world, their fellow men and themselves.
1984 Prize of the Jürgen Ponto-foundation
1984 and 1993 singular work prize of the Swiss Schiller foundation
1986 Georg-Fischer-Prize of the city Schaffhausen
1990 Alemannic Literaturpreis
1993 Thomas Valentin-Literature price
1995 Prix littéraire Lipp; International Bodensee-Literature price
1997 Prize of the SWR-best-of-list
1999 Hermann Hesse-price
2000 Joseph Breitbach-price (jointly with Ilse Aichinger and W.G.Sebald)
2002 Johann Peter Hebel-price of Baden-Württemberg
2005 complete work prize of the Swiss Schiller foundation
2006 Bodensee-Literature prize of the city Überlingen
Bilder des Endgültigen, Entwürfe des Möglichen. Zum Werk Max Frischs, Univ. Diss. 1974 (literally: “Pictures of the definitive. Drafts of the possible. About Max Frisch’s work”)
Zündels Abgang, novel, 1984, ISBN 3-7017-1385-5 (Zündel’s Departure)
Froschnacht, novel, 1985, ISBN 3-7017-0424-4, ISBN 3-423-11250-6 (literally: „Frog night“)
Die kalte Schulter, novel, 1989, ISBN 3-423-11672-2 (literally: „The cold shoulder“)
Bis bald, novel, 1992, ISBN 3-7017-0758-8, ISBN 3-423-12112-2 (2005/2006 in the book series Schweizer Bibliothek) (literally: „Good bye“)
Festland, novel, 1996, ISBN 3-7017-0969-6, ISBN 3-423-12529-2 (literally: „Mainland“)
Der ägyptische Heinrich, novel, 1999, ISBN 3-7017-1174-7, ISBN 3-423-12901-8 (literally: „The Egyptian Heinrich“)
Am Hang, novel, 2004, ISBN 3-10-091066-4 (literally: „Near the cliff“)
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