Literaturverlag Droschl
About Droschl

Eleonore Frey

Eleonore Frey was born in Thurgau/Swiss in 1939. From 1958 to 1966 she studied Germanistik, Rome anise TIC and Komparatistik in Zurich and Paris. From 1982 to 1997 she worked as Titularprofessorin for Newer German literature at the University of Zurich. Beside literature-scientific she writes also literary texts and translates from French (Henri Michaux). Eleonore Frey is member of the federation authoresses and authors of Switzerland and since 1999 of the German Swiss of PEN center. Beside various Scholarships she was awarded the Swiss Schillerstiftung Prize. In 2009 her novel >Exaples from Hans was on the shortlist of the Swiss Book Prize.
She lives in Zürich and Paris.

»One of the most discrete and most amazing writers of Swiss contemporary literature.« (NZZ)

More detailed information in the German version



Eleonore Frey
Out of thin air (Aus der Luft gegriffen)

168 pages

A gentle and cheerful book that will open your eye to the world with literary finesse.

Out of thin air is the tenth book Eleonore Frey published at Droschl and also her most cheerful one.

Helen Schnee, the story’s heroine virtually falls onto the writer’s desk, which marks the beginning of a close-knit relationship between the two of them. Helen Schnee, as most characters in Frey’s books only loosely bound to bourgeois reality, tries to gain foothold in this new world and eventually ends up at ›Open Ear‹ – a kind of helpline, an organization that could however also turn out to be something completely different.
However, it is not only work that defines the bourgeois individual, their dwelling and marital status are just as important – and therefore, Helen Schnee is given a place to stay as well as social contacts. The circumstances do not meet her expectations, though, and with the consent of the author, she breaks free again and goes on to live her floaty life somewhere else – but keeps her interest and empathy for the people that have crossed her path.

»Eleonore Frey’s prose counters the world of established identities, of facts and figures and stone-cast certainties with gentle skepticism and unwavering commitment to all those who have lost their footing or never gained a foothold in reality in the first place.
That literature is made up of words and phrases is common knowledge, as is the fact that it is rather ›manufactured‹ than ›created‹. It is ever so rare, however, that a writer grants this much of an insight into her way of working and is credited with ›sublime attentiveness and subtle empathy‹.« (by the jury of the Swiss Book Award).


Eleonore Frey
Seventeen Things. A biography (Siebzehn Dinge)

120 pages

Eleonore Frey conjures up the world of a seventeen-year-old girl. It is an insecure, perilous, small yet complete world portrayed with sympathy from a distant, slightly ironic angle.

Nina (»I am a boy. I am a girl. I don’t know what I am. I cannot make up my mind. But since I’m both of them I am in an awkward position.«), Nina has a backpack full of paraphernalia she keeps carrying about, seventeen pieces altogether – a mouth organ among them, a water bottle, a lipstick and a walkman. That makes seventeen stories, at least seventeen convergences towards a person, seventeen sketches, at least, attempting to get hold of this character, to get behind her and/or his very history. In her subtile prose that defies imitation and avoids any definition, Eleonore Frey conjures up the world of a seventeen-year-old girl. It is an insecure, perilous, small yet complete world portrayed with sympathy from a distant, slightly ironic angle.


Eleonore Frey
From overseas. A report (Aus Übersee)

182 pages

A narration about an emigration with retrospection into the past.

The sixth book from one of the most important writers of today Switzerland.
The ›report‹ of a woman who's trying to remember her life looking back on a series of desasters, from childhood, youth, friendship and love until the deepest fall into the nets of psychiatry.

»The phantasmagoria of a childhood that extends to the tragedy of a marriage.« (FAZ)

»The exactness and luminosity of the details, their tendency to tip from the most precise perception to the poetic picture of a fairy tale, that reminds us of Catherine Colomb, the great writer from french Switzerland: both know how to mingle the work of memory with exact observation.« (Beatrice von Matt, NZZ)