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Martin Suter

23.01.2020 – Susanne Wenger

Martin Suter is once again able to celebrate his birthday on 29 February because 2020 is a leap year. He also has every reason to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne. The Zurich-born author, who will soon turn 72, has been the highest-selling Swiss author internationally for more than twenty years. His breakthrough came with the novel “Small World” in 1997. At that time, he was in his late forties; a late bloomer. Further well-known titles followed, including “The Dark Side of the Moon”. Suter also achieved success with the criminal series based around the dandified Zurich detective Allmen. “Allmen and the Koi”, the sixth volume, landed directly in the top spot on the bestseller list last autumn. This has almost become a regular haunt for the author whose works have been translated and filmed many times. Before he became a full-time writer, Suter was a successful advertising creative director. This period of his life afforded him an insight into the boardroom, which he later skilfully debunked in newspaper columns that were as biting as they were humorous. He is an extremely disciplined writer, but Suter the intellectual is also a bon vivant. He likes to look stylish, have beautiful things, had a second residence on Ibiza, and currently lives in Marrakesh. The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” has termed him “the very antithesis of the starving artist”. However, like other authors, he is concerned about the structural change afoot in publishing. Now Suter is experimenting with a digital model. You can subscribe to reading material, videos and podcasts for six Swiss francs or five euros per month on his website “Less than the price of a latte macchiato”, he notes. He has also revived his “Business Class” column online. Globalised Swiss bankers and other exponents of top management still provide him with plenty of material.