Peter Stamm grew up in Weinfelden in the canton of Thurgau the son of an accountant. After completing primary and secondary school he spent three years as an apprentice accountant and then five as an accountant. He then chose to go back to school at the University of Zurich taking courses in a variety of fields including English studies, Business informatics, Psychology, and Psychopathology. During this time he also worked as an intern at a psychiatric clinic. After living for a time in New York, Paris, and Scandinavia he settled down in 1990 as a writer and freelance journalist in Zurich. He wrote articles for, among others, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the Tages-Anzeiger, Die Weltwoche, and the satirical newspaper Nebelspalter. Since 1997 he has belonged to the editorial staff of the quarterly literary magazine "Entwürfe für Literatur." He lives in Winterthur.
Peter Stamm has written prose, radio drama, and plays. He is most known for his cool and sparse writing style. Since 2003 Stamm has been a member of the group "Autorinnen und Autoren der Schweiz" (Authors of Switzerland).
Stamm has received a number of literature prizes.
- 1998 Ehrengabe des Kantons Zürich
- 1999 Rauriser Literaturpreis
- 2000 Rheingau Literatur Preis
- 2001 Ehrengabe der Stadt Zürich
- 2002 Preis der Schweizerischen Schillerstiftung
- 2002 Carl-Heinrich-Ernst-Kunstpreis
- 2013 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award shortlist We're Flying
- 2014 Friedrich-Hölderlin-Preis of the town of Bad Homburg
- Alles über den Mann, 1995 (with Brigitte Fries)
- Gotthard, 1997 (with Markus Bühler)
- Agnes, 1998 (translated by Michael Hofmann as Agnes)
- Blitzeis, 1999 (translated by Michael Hofmann as "Black Ice" in the first section of In Strange Gardens)
- Ungefähre Landschaft, 2001 (translated by Michael Hofmann as Unformed Landscape)
- In fremden Gärten, 2003 (translated by Michael Hofmann in the second section of In Strange Gardens)
- Warum wir vor der Stadt wohnen, 2005 (with Jutta Bauer)
- An einem Tag wie diesem, 2006 (translated by Michael Hofmann as On a Day Like This)
- Wir fliegen, 2008 (translated by Michael Hofmann in the first section of We're Flying)
- Sieben Jahre, 2009 (translated by Michael Hofmann as Seven Years)
- Seerücken, 2011 (translated by Michael Hofmann as "The Ridge" in the second section of We're Flying)
- Nacht ist der Tag, 2013 (translated by Michael Hofmann as All Days are Night)
- Weit über das Land, 2016 (translated by Michael Hofmann as To the Back of Beyond)
- Die Planung des Planes Monologue, Schauspielhaus Zürich
- Fremd gehen, 1995
- Après Soleil oder Wen der Wind zur Insel trägt, 2002
- Der Kuss des Kohaku, 2004
- Die Töchter von Taubenhain, 2004
- Ich und die anderen 1991
- Die Nacht der Gewohnheiten 1993
- In Vitro Zürich 1994
- Der letzte Autofahrer 1995
- Bildnis eines Knaben mit Peitsche 1995
- Diensttage, 2003
- Susan Musgrave: Träum dir eine Badewanne (English: Dreams are More Real than Bathtubs), 2002
Several of Stamm's works have been translated into English by Michael Hofmann, and published in the United States by Other Press. These include novels Seven Years, Agnes, Unformed Landscape, and On a Day Like This, as well as In Strange Gardens and Other Stories, a collection of short stories.
- Alison Flood (31 May 2013). "Frank O'Connor short story award pits UK authors against international stars". The Guardian. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
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