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A Jew Must Die by Jacques Chessex


A Jew Must Die by Jacques Chessex

On April 16, 1942, a few days before Hitler's birthday, a handful of Swiss Nazis in Payerne lure Arthur Bloch, a Jewish cattle merchant, into a stable and kill him with an iron bar. Europe is in flames, but this is Switzerland, and Payerne, a rural market town of butchers and bankers, is more concerned with unemployment and local bankruptcies than the fate of nations across the border. Fernand Ischi, leader of the local Nazi cell, blames everything on the Jews and Bloch's murder is to be an example, a foretaste of what is to come once the Nazis take over Switzerland. Jacques Chessex, winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, was a child in Payerne. He knew the murderers and sat next to Ischi's children in school. He has written a terse, implacable story that has awakened memories in a country that seems to endlessly rediscover dark areas of its past.


Chessex, our new Flaubert, has no equal when describing horror without flinching, screaming sotto voce and exploring guilt in taut prose.A Le Nouvel Observateur

A masterpiece. His writing is that of a painter, sober, incisive, bewildering. The beauty of the world, the ubiquity of evil, God's silence, it's all there, delivered like a slap to the face.A Le Point

There are so many books we can do without. But we were waiting for this one. It completes the written universe of a great author and explores a nightmare not as anachronistic as it might appear.A L'Hebdo

About the Author

Jacques Chessex, born in 1934, won the Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary prize, for his novel L'Ogre in 1973. He is considered one of Switzerland's greatest authors, a novelist, poet, essayist and winner of the French Literature Grand Prix of the Academie Francaise. His other works include Monsieur (2001), L'economie du ciel (2003) and Le vampire de Ropraz (2007), published by Bitter Lemon Press as The Vampire of Ropraz.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st February 2010


Jacques Chessex

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Bitter Lemon Press


122 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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