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 Flâneur

A 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 Slow Train to Switzerland

Dazzling. A book for those who love to travel, whether in the mind or on the road. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

There is a mastery in the handling of the prose rhythms which I find exciting. It is in order for an ageing writer, in a valediction to Irish readers, to essay a prophesy about Irish letters. Mr Rooney will be a credit to them. ANTHONY BURGESS, author of A Clockwork Orange

Constantly engaging … and highly entertaining. Rooney is almost casually brilliant on Joyce, Nabokov and Mann. … A love letter to reading that does not shy away from the sins of reality. HERALD

A consummate lover of language and a master of atmosphere and the telling detail. WORLD OF HIBERNIA

Rooney’s poetry is subtly immediate, quietly evocative… CARRIE ETTER in THE WARWICK REVIEW

Elegant and evocative… AUGUSTINE MARTIN in THE IRISH TIMES

In times of trouble, strange works appear, pale and uncanny as mushrooms overnight. AIDAN HIGGINS, author of Langrishe Go Down

Lushly decadent yet simply poetic… it reminds one of a rare orchid – beautiful, unnatural and poisonous. SUNDAY PRESS


Padraig Rooney has spent forty years outside his native Ireland and lives in Switzerland. He has published four collections of poetry and has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Poetry Business Award, the Strokestown International Poetry Prize and the 2012 Listowel Poem Award. His work is anthologised in Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry (Viking), in Haiku World and The Haiku Seasons (Kodansha), and his short stories in Best Irish Short Stories 2 & 3 (Paul Elek). Edmund White described The Gilded Chalet: Off-piste in Literary Switzerland (2015) as “a superbly amusing guide to all the writers who’ve been drawn to or emerged from Switzerland”.