The author Helen Meier died at the age of 91 in Trogen AR. She was considered an important writer in the Swiss literary landscape.
The author Helen Meier died early Saturday morning at the age of 91 in Trogen (AR). This is confirmed by the manager Ilir Selmanaj from the Haus Vorderdorf retirement and nursing home.
Helen Meier was an author who knew how to use razor-sharp language to describe the human inner life and to expose it in its contradictions and conflict.
Later breakthrough as a writer
Born on April 17, 1929 in Mels SG as the daughter of the village school teacher, Helen Meier later became a primary school teacher herself. After long periods of work in France, England and Italy, she studied languages and education in Freiburg. She worked for the Red Cross in refugee aid. She also worked as a special school teacher in Heiden in Appenzell.
Helen Meier came to writing late: Her breakthrough came in 1984, when she was 55 years old – with a highly regarded appearance at the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition in Klagenfurt. The text of the performance is contained in Meier’s debut, the volume of stories “Trockenwiese”, with which she became known in one fell swoop.
Helen Meier published other novels at regular intervals in the 1980s and 1990s, such as “Lebenleben” or “Die Novizin”.
A poet slumbered in the teacher
But Helen Meier wrote much earlier. As early as the 1950s, the author wrote prose texts that appeared only a few years ago in the anthology “ The Agony of the Butterfly”.
The texts were stored in the writer’s cupboard for many years. The y were forgotten. The editor of the book found them: the Zurich literary scholar Charles Linsmayer, who has already published works by Helen Meier on various occasions.
In addition, another volume with Helen Meier’s unpublished fairy tales came out in 2019. Helen Meier’s desire to talk about stories, but also her bitterly angry humor, her penchant for the surreal – all of this can be found in these early fairy tale texts.
In her numerous collections of stories, novels and plays, she made existential upheavals the subject of: resumes that fail; the unfulfilled love or the quarrel with impermanence. But Helen Meier never offered cheap consolation.
Rather, her works radiate a thoroughly contagious, but always insatiable hunger for life. With Helen Meier, literature is losing an author who might not believe that there is such a thing as lasting happiness, but who, through her books, gave reason to look for moments in which happiness at least appears.