Dr. Joy Charnley is Lecturer in French at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. She has co-edited several books on Swiss literature, including Twenty-Five Years of Emancipation? Women in Switzerland 1971-1996 (1998) and five volumes of the Occasional Papers in Swiss Studies (1998-2003). Dr. Charnley has published on Yvette Z’Graggen, Alice Rivaz, Anne-Lise Grobéty, and Anne Cuneo.2006 0-7734-5767-4
Born in Geneva in 1920, Yvette Z’Graggen published her first novel in 1944 and over the course of the following sixty years (her most recent work appeared in 2003) has written more than fifteen books. She has carved out for herself a position as one of the most popular and successful writers in French-speaking Switzerland; several of her books have been translated into German, and she has won a number of prestigious literary prizes. In spite of this success, because of inherent difficulties in being a Swiss writer published in Switzerland, Z’Graggen is not well-known outside her native country. Previous studies of Z’Graggen (in French) appeared in 1987 and 1997, the latter being a series of interviews with Z’Graggen. This study examines Z’Graggen’s work in its entirety and provides an overview of the themes she has developed, renewed and reworked over the course of her career. By adopting a thematic approach, the book demonstrates how these themes recur and interlink, enabling the reader to reach conclusions about the importance of Z’Graggen within la literature romande. Given the considerable interest in recent years in both women’s writing and Francophone literature, it is fitting that a writer of Z’Graggen’s stature should be studied in detail and become better known outside Switzerland.