Troubador A Long Blue Monday

Released: 28/07/2018

ISBN: 9781789014174

eISBN: 9781789011531

Format: Paperback/eBook

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A Long Blue Monday


The novel portrays, with dry humour, delicate irony and a touch of nostalgia, the lives and feelings of young people in the late 1950s.

“Erhard von Büren pours out memories of love affairs, of family life, of student experiences or incidents from his readings... His style is spiced with waywardness and wit.” – Award of the Canton Solothurn Prize for Literature.

In A Long Blue Monday, the narrator, who is temporarily away from home working on a book about Sherwood Anderson, remembers his unrequited love affair with Claudia, whom he met at college during rehearsals for a play. 

How could he, the village lad, the son of a working-class family, aspire to gain the affection of Claudia, a sophisticated town girl, who lives with her wealthy family in a spacious house by the river? Worlds seem to separate the two. But he is convinced that where there’s a will there’s a way. As a young boy, he had tried, by being a model pupil and a model son, to repair his family’s damaged reputation. But now, in spite of all his attempts, his love remains unreciprocated. Finally he decides to take several weeks off college to write a play – a trilogy, no less – to gain Claudia’s esteem.

The 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage aims to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe's cultural heritage. In an article in the Swiss cultural magazine SoRock, Felix Epper reports on how Helen Wallimann has contributed by translating Erhard von Bueren's Swiss novels and thus making them available to the English-speaking world.

To read the article (in German) see: (pages 54-55).

For detailed reviews of Erhard von Bueren's novels see, among others, The Modern Novel:

Excellent novel of a not so ordinary man

I have read all three of Erhard von Büren's novels and enjoyed all three. If you are into car chases and post-modernism this may not be the book for you but if you like a good story, well told, this definitely works. Our hero, Paul Ganter, is writing his story forty years later. Back then, in the 60s, he, was a gawky youth from a poor background, fell for Claudia, an attractive young woman from a well-off background. He tried to woo her in various ways - taking her to see American films was one - till he eventually hit on the idea of writing not just one play but a trilogy of autobiographical plays.

While we follow his early life, we also follow his current life. He is writing a book on Sherwood Anderson but also struggling with his past (Claudia, his difficult family) and his current marriage. Von Büren skilfully mixes the two together, as we get an excellent portrait of an ordinary man who, like most ordinary men in the hands of a good writer, is not really all that ordinary and who has, of course, his own complexities and contradictions and who like most seemingly ordinary people tries to find a way to muddle through.

Highly recommended
by John Alvey

by John Alvey

Erhard  von Büren

Erhard von Buren was born near Solothurn, Switzerland. After a PhD in Psychology and German philology from Zurich University and study stays in France he worked as a teacher in advanced teacher training.

Besides various articles in anthologies and journals, he has had three novels published in Switzerland: Abdankung. Ein Bericht (Zytglogge Verlag, Bern 1989), Wespenzeit (Rotpunktverlag, Zurich 2000), Ein langer blauer Montag (verlag die Brotsuppe. Biel/Bienne 2013).

After Epitaph for a Working Man and Wasp Days, A Long Blue Monday is the third of his books to be published in English.

Erhard von Büren has won various literary awards including the Canton of Solothurn Prize for Literature in 2007. He lives in Solothurn.


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