Jonas Lüscher © photo private


Jonas Lüscher [ Switzerland ]

Jonas Lüscher, born 1976 in Zurich, grew up in Bern, where he trained as a primary teacher at the Evangelical Teachers’ Seminar in Muristalden from his school days until 1998. For several years he worked as a dramaturge and script developer in the German film industry and studied at the Hochschule für Philosophie in Munich from 2005 to 2009. He then worked for two years as a research assistant at the Institute of Technology, Theology and Natural Sciences at the Ludwig Maximilian University and as a teacher of ethics at the Staatliche Wirtschaftsschule München/Pasing. Lüscher began writing his dissertation at ETH Zurich in 2011 and shortly afterwards went to Stanford with a scholarship from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

His first novella »Frühling der Barbaren« (2013; Eng. »Barbarian Spring«, 2014), which was nominated for the German Book Prize and the Swiss Book Prize and has won several awards, tells the story of a Swiss factory man who, during a business trip in a luxury hotel in the middle of the Tunisian desert, finds himself at an English wedding party. The pound crashes during the festivities, and the rich young Englishmen prove insolvent. The Swiss manufacturer is also affected by the financial crisis because he has his products manufactured in Tunisia. Lüscher takes up complex social problems in times of globalization, which, as in the novella, can grow into an act of barbarism, and with his multi-faceted, dramaturgically exciting narrative he creates a »cleverly grotesque fable about a generation that risks everything by attracting money« (»Deutschlandfunk«). In 2017 Lüscher’s first novel »Kraft« was published, for which he was awarded the Swiss Book Prize and the Tukan Prize. At the center of the action is rhetorics professor Richard Kraft, who hopes to find a way out of his private and financial misery by participating in a highly endowed scientific competition in Silicon Valley. In his preparation for the lecture on the theodicy question, he immerses himself in his own past, recapitulates his development as a neoliberal, touches on the ruptures of German history, reflects on political and economic questions, and loses himself in the skepticism of science. The scholarly satire portrays a man in a midlife crisis and a society whose powerful elite is prepared to break any taboo, far from any morality.

In addition to his literary publications, Lüscher has published political and philosophical essays in magazines and newspapers. Most recently, together with the philosopher Michael Zichy, he published »Der populistische Planet: Berichte aus einer Welt in Aufruhr« (2021; tr: The Populist Planet: Reports from a World in Turmoil), a collection of texts by international writers about the populism debates in different countries. The author lives in Munich.




Frühling der Barbaren

C.H. Beck

München, 2013

Über Geld. Essay

In: Sprache im technischen Zeitalter, 210


Köln/Wien, 2014

An der Quelle

In: Edit

Leipzig, 2015


C.H. Beck

München, 2017

Ins Erzählen flüchten


C.H. Beck

München, 2020

Der populistische Planet

Berichte aus einer Welt in Aufruhr

[Hrsg. mit Michael Zichy]

C.H. Beck

München, 2021