Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Saturday, 10 October 2009 14:34 UK

Swiss novelist Chessex dies at 75

Award-winning Swiss novelist Jacques Chessex has died after collapsing at a public event to discuss his work.

The French-speaking Swiss writer received France's prestigious Prix Goncourt for his novel L'ogre in 1973, becoming the first non-French winner.

Chessex was taking part in a discussion at a library in Yverdon-Les-Bains about one of his novels being adapted in a play when he was taken ill on Friday.

Mayor Daniel von Siebenthal confirmed the 75-year-old died shortly after.

Chessex's last book A Jew Must Die, published this year, focussed on the 1942 death of cattle trader Arthur Bloch, who was killed by Swiss Nazis in Chessex's home town of Payerne.

The novel, like others in his back catalogue, was not warmly received in Switzerland.

A play of his 1967 novel The Confession of Father Burg had just had its premiere the night before his death.

Chessex, who had been married three times, lived in Ropraz, near the Swiss border with France.



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