Lukas Bärfuss


Lukas Bärfuss

Born in Thun in 1971, Lukas Bärfuss is a playwright, novelist, and essayist and one of the most important voices in contemporary literature. His plays have been performed throughout the world and his novels have been translated into twenty languages. In 2019, he was honored with the Georg Büchner Prize. In his politically engaged plays and novels, he has shown himself to be an incisive observer and trenchant commentator on our era.

In his 2022 volume, Vaters Kiste (Father’s Crate), Lukas Bärfuss explores the theme of the significance of one’s origins and background. This autobiographical essay takes his dead father’s old banana crate full of promissory notes and unpaid bills as a departure point for a biographical account of his father combined with a history and critique of inheritance law. Family background, poverty, and social isolation are also central to Bärfuss’ most recent work Die Krume Brot (Crumbs of Bread), as is evident in the very first sentence of the novel: “No one knows when Adelina’s misfortune began, but perhaps it started long before her birth, forty-five years earlier, to be exact, in the University of Graz.” Bärfuss unfolds the story of Adelina, the daughter of Italian immigrants who, on her father’s death, inherits his debts. She has to make her way alone with a child but without any education and struggle to survive. Felix Münger expressed his enthusiasm in SRF 2: “This novel is a literary shot: in an elegant and precise style and with a sense of empathy that is transmitted to us readers, the author portrays the protagonist Adelina’s stirring life.

Die Krume Brot. Roman. Rowohlt 2023
Vaters Kiste. Eine Geschichte über das Erben. Rowohlt 2022
Die Krone der Schöpfung. Essays. Wallstein 2020


28th Leukerbad International Literary Festival: 6.21.–23.2024