Thomas Hürlimann reads from his latest novel “The Red Diamond”.
‘Fit in and you’ll survive,’ is what eleven-year-old Arthur Goldau is told when his mother drops him off at a monastic boarding school high up in the Swiss mountains in the autumn of 1963. Here, where the snow starts falling in September, and where the former Austrian Empress Zita visits every year, he becomes ‘Pupil 230’ and learns what generations before him learned. But the enormous old monastery, in which times doesn’t seem to pass, harbours a secret: an enormous, valuable diamond from the crown of the Habsburg monarchy has allegedly been hidden when the Austrian monarchy fell in 1918. While Arthur and his friends search for the diamond deep within the catacombs of the monastery and history, the old world collapses around them. Rose, the village girl with a missing tooth, introduces him to love as Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’ wafts through the corridors.
Thomas Hürlimann, writer
Fedora Wesseler, moderation