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The Gilded Chalet
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About the Author

Padraig Rooney was born in Ireland and studied at Maynooth College and at the Sorbonne. His books include In The Bonsai Garden which won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry in 1986, The Escape Artist which won the Poetry Business Competition in 2005 and The Fever Wards, published by Salt in 2010. He won the Strokestown International Poetry Prize in 2009 and has been the recipient of two Irish Arts Council bursaries. He has taught abroad for many years and lives in Basel, Switzerland.

Reviews

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. This is a book that should be stuffed into every stocking - the perfect Christmas gift! - Edmund White, author of The FlaneurConstantly engaging and highly entertaining. Rooney is almost casually brilliant on Joyce, Nabokov and Mann, but revelatory on such as Durrenmatt and Frisch. He shows a deftness of touch but can, too, be powerful. A love letter to reading that does not shy away from the sins of reality. - The HeraldAn enjoyable wander around literary Switzerland. The Gilded Chalet tracks the snow prints, shattered booze-glasses and missed spy drops of the likes of Rousseau, Byron, Hemingway and le Carre, sniffing the air of inspiration they found in the hills, huts and bars. - WanderlustA gossipy feel [with a] touch of Clive James in its humour. What has Switzerland ever done for us? Quite a bit. - Irish Mail on Sunday'A lively and entertaining tour of literary Switzerland. Rooney has an eye for a telling anecdote. Informative and full of surprises, not least the portrait of Switzerland as a hotbed of literature and revolution. - The TabletA 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 Swiss WatchingThere is a mastery in his handling of prose-rhythm which I find exciting. It is in order for an ageing writer, in a valediction to Irish readers, to essay a prophecy about Irish letters. Mr. Rooney will be a credit to them. - Anthony BurgessA fascinating account of how Switzerland has always provided something of a refuge for writers - from war, oppression, tuberculosis and even marriage - as well as an inspiration to them too. - The Bookseller

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