Jonas Lüscher, born in 1976 in Zurich, grew up in Bern, where he trained to be a primary school teacher at the evangelical teacher’s seminar in Muristalden until 1998. For a few years, he worked as a dramaturge and story developer in the German film industry and studied from 2005 to 2009 at the Hochschule für Philosophie in Munich. At the same time, he worked as a freelance editor and later worked as a research associate for two years at the Institute of Technology – Theology – Natural Sciences at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and as a teacher in ethics at the Staatliche Wirtschaftsschule München/Pasing. In 2011, Lüscher began writing his dissertation at the ETH Zurich and then went to Stanford with a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation.
His first novella »Frühling der Barbaren« (2013; Eng. »Barbarian Spring«, 2014), which was nominated for the German and Swiss Book Prizes and received numerous accolades, tells the story of a Swiss factory heir who, during a business trip, finds himself among an English wedding party at a luxury hotel in the Tunisian desert. During the festivities, the British pound crashes and the wealthy young English people are unable to pay. The Swiss factory owner is also hit by the financial crisis because he manufactures in Tunisia. Lüscher takes on complex social problems in the age of globalization that, like in the novella, can grow to become an act of barbarism and, with memorable imagery, creates a »clever and grotesque fable about a generation that risks everything for money« (»Deutschlandfunk«) with his multifaceted, suspenseful narration. In 2017, Lüscher published his first novel, »Kraft«, for which he won the Swiss Book Prize and the Toucan Prize. At the center of the plot is the professor of rhetoric Richard Kraft, who hopes to find a way out of his private and financial misery by participating in a prestigious scientific competition in America’s Silicon Valley. While preparing for the lecture on the theodicy problem, he mentally immerses himself in his own past, recalling his development as a neoliberal, touching on the fractures of German history, reflecting on political and economic questions, and losing himself in scientific skepticism. The academic satire portrays a man in a mid-life crisis and a society whose powerful elites lack any morals and are willing to break every taboo. In addition to his literary works, Lüscher published political and philosophical essays in magazines and newspapers. He also wrote the libretto for the opera »Jetzt« by Mathis Nitschke (world premiere 2012; tr: Now). The author lives in Munich.