Alice Rivaz

Last updated

Alice Rivaz (14 August 1901 – 27 February 1998) was a Swiss author and feminist.


Alice Rivaz
Alice Rivaz en 1995.JPG
Rivaz in 1995
Alice Golay

14 August 1901
Rovray, Switzerland
Died27 February 1998(1998-02-27) (aged 96)
Genthod, Switzerland


She was born Alice Golay in the small Swiss municipality of Rovray, in the Canton of Vaud, the only child of Paul Golay and Ida Ettler, both strong Calvinists. Her mother had been a deaconess before deciding to leave that life to marry, while her father was a school teacher at the time of her birth. With a growing embrace of socialism, he later gave up that career and became a writer for the leftist periodical, Le Grutléen , for which the family moved to Lausanne.

Rovray Place in Vaud, Switzerland

Rovray is a municipality in the district of Jura-Nord Vaudois in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.

A canton is a type of administrative division of a country. In general, cantons are relatively small in terms of area and population when compared with other administrative divisions such as counties, departments, or provinces. Internationally, the best-known cantons - and the most politically important - are those of Switzerland. As the constituents of the Swiss Confederation, theoretically, the Swiss cantons are semi-sovereign states.

Calvinism Protestant branch of Christianity

Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians.

Alice Rivaz' later writings are thought to reflect the conflict the couple experienced as a result of their differing points of view, with her mother's piety butting up against her father's political convictions. [1]

At the age of 25 Rivaz moved to Geneva, where she spent the rest of her life. She originally studied music, training to become a pianist. After several years of work with the International Labour Organization she turned to writing, and became one of the foremost French language writers of Switzerland. [1] She died in that city at the age of 96 and was buried at the prestigious Cimetière des Rois.

Geneva Place in Switzerland

Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and the most populous city of the Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

International Labour Organization Specialised agency of the United Nations

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social justice and promote decent work by setting international labour standards. The ILO has 187 member states: 186 of the 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands are members of the ILO. The tripartite structure is unique to the ILO where representatives from the government, employers and employees openly debate and create labour standards.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Alice Rivaz - Cimetiere des Rois Alice Rivaz - Cimetiere des Rois.jpg
Alice Rivaz – Cimetière des Rois

In her birthplace there is a commemorative plaque. In Geneva a street and a College were named after her. And since 2002 there is even an Intercity train called Alice Rivaz.


The RABDe 500, is a Swiss passenger train which was introduced in 2000, in time for Expo.02 held in western Switzerland in 2002. Its maximum speed is 200 km/h (120 mph), which can be reached on the Mattstetten–Rothrist new line; as of 2018 the RABDe 500 uses the branch to Solothurn only; the ICNs reach 200 km/h in the new Gotthard Base Tunnel. The train sets were a joint development by Bombardier, Swiss Federal Railways and Alstom, with an aerodynamic body designed by Pininfarina, bogies and tilting mechanism designed by the then SIG, Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft.


Rivaz began working on her first novel around 1937, which came to be titled Nuages dans la main (Clouds in your Hands), published in 1940. Her novel Jette ton pain (Cast your Bread), published in 1979, is considered her finest work. [1] Her writings are known for dealing with women in art and in the family, as well as having feminist themes. Along with novels, short stories, essays and diaries she also did a study of poet Jean-Georges Lossier.


Related Research Articles

Françoise d'Eaubonne was a French feminist, who introduced the term "ecofeminism" in 1974.

Blaise Cendrars French writer of Swiss origin

Frédéric-Louis Sauser, better known as Blaise Cendrars, was a Swiss-born novelist and poet who became a naturalized French citizen in 1916. He was a writer of considerable influence in the European modernist movement.

Cimetière des Rois cemetery in Geneva, Switzerland

The Cimetière des Rois, is a cemetery in Geneva, Switzerland, where John Calvin, Jorge Luis Borges, Sérgio Vieira de Mello, Ernest Ansermet, and Jean Piaget are buried. The composer Frank Martin, Humphry Davy, Alberto Ginastera, Griselidis Real and Alice Rivaz, editor François Lachenal, Robert Musil and actor François Simon are also buried there. Politicians are also buried there, so is Adrien Lachenal, Paul Lachenal, Antoine Carteret,Willy Donzé or Gustave Moynier .The cemetery is commonly named after la rue des Rois near which it is situated.

Christine Angot French writer/novelist/playwright

Christine Angot is a French writer, and novelist

Sarah Kofman philosopher from France

Sarah Kofman was a French philosopher.

Rose Laurens French singer-songwriter

Rose Laurens, previously billed as Rose Merryl, was a French singer-songwriter, known for her 1982 single "Africa", a number three hit in some European countries. She was also the singer for the original version of "J'avais rêvé d'une autre vie" from the French concept album of Les Misérables, a song later adapted into English as "I Dreamed a Dream". In 1986 her single "American Love" it is a quite successful in some European countries.

Marie-Aude Murail French writer

Marie-Aude Murail is a French children's writer.

Alain Borer French poet

Alain Borer, is a French poet, art critic, essayist, novelist, playwright, writer-traveler, signatory of the Littérature-monde manifesto, and eminent authority on the works of Arthur Rimbaud. He has been Professor of Art at L'École supérieure des beaux-arts de Tours since 1979 and Visiting Professor of French Literature at the University of Southern California since 2005. He recently received the Kessel Prize for his novel Koba, as well as the 70th Prix Apollinaire for his play Icare & I don't (Seuil). In 2010, Alain Borer was awarded the 10th Pierre Mac Orlan Prize for Le Ciel & la carte, carnet de voyage dans les mers du Sud à bord de La Boudeuse (Seuil), and the Maurice Genevoix Prize from the Académie Française in 2011. Alain Borer was made a Knight (1985), then Officer (1993) of Arts and Letters in the French Legion of Honour, and is President of the Printemps des Poètes association. Alain Borer additionally received the Édouard Glissant Prize in 2005, awarded by the University of Paris VIII for all of his achievements.

Markus Hediger Swiss writer

Markus Hediger is a Swiss writer and translator.

The Prix Dentan is a Swiss literary award created in 1984 and named for Professor Michel Dentan.

Jovette Marchessault was a Canadian writer and artist from Quebec, who worked in a variety of literary and artistic domains including novels, poetry, drama, painting and sculpture. An important pioneer of lesbian and feminist literature and art in Canada, many of her most noted works were inspired by other real-life women in literature and art, including Violette Leduc, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Emily Carr, Anaïs Nin and Helena Blavatsky.

Laurence Suhner Swiss writer and artist

Laurence Suhner is a Swiss science fiction writer and graphic artist.

Anne-Lise Grobéty Swiss writer

Anne-Lise Grobéty was a French-language Swiss journalist and an author of short stories, poetry and radio plays.

Marcela Iacub Argentine writer

Marcela Iacub is an Argentine writer and jurist specializing in bioethics research, living in France. In 2013, Iacub was successfully sued for invasion of privacy by Dominique Strauss-Kahn: her novel Belle et Bête included a character based on him.

Corinne Chaponnière is a Swiss-Canadian writer and journalist.

Marie Le Franc French writer

Marie Le Franc was a French-born writer who found much of her inspiration in Canada.

Colette Yver was a French Roman Catholic writer from Normandy, the winner of the 1907 Prix Femina for her work Princesses de science.

Louise Anne Bouchard is a writer, of Canadian and Swiss citizenship.

Hélène Pedneault was a Québécoise writer of many mediums who contributed much to the advancement of the feminist cause and also to Quebec sovereignty and the environment.

Michou Chaze is a Tahitin author writing in "Tahitian French", a localized variation of French. She is also known as Rai Chaze or Rai a Mai.


  1. 1 2 3 Schlossman, Beryl (2001). "Alice Rivaz and the Subject of Lost Time". MLN. 116: 1025–1044.