Maurice Chappaz and his friend Georges Borgeaud at 20 years old
© Archives littéraires suisses. © Fonds S. Corinna Bille-Maurice Chappaz, Berne
The Foundation Maurice Chappaz-S. Corinna Bille held at the Swiss Literary Archives embraces the majority of the Maurice Chappaz manuscripts as well as a very rich documentation of his oeuvre.
Son of Henri Chappaz, lawyer, and Amélie, née Troillet. Childhood at Martigny and L'Abbaye du Châble, the family home, domicile of his uncle Maurice Troillet. Studied classics at the College de Saint-Maurice, before reading law at Lausanne and arts at Geneva. Meets Ch.-F. Ramuz and G. Roud in 1939. Abandons his studies when war broke out; called up. Meets S. Corinna Bille whom he marries in 1947; three children, born in 1944, 1948 and 1950. Unsettled wandering and financial difficulties for a period of years; management of a vineyard at Fully then assistant surveyor on the Grande-Dixence dam (1956-58) building site. Travelled extensively - to Italy, Lapland, Nepal, Mount Athos, Russia, Peking, Canada, New York… and in the Alps, on skis. Second wife: Michène Caussignac, widow of the writer Lorenzo Pestelli.
Success follows success: Testament du Haut Rhône, Portrait des Valaisans en légende et en vérité, Les Maquereaux des cimes blanches... Awards include: the Grand Prix de l'Académie rhodanienne (1948), Prix Rambert (1953), Prix de l'Etat du Valais (1985). Now, in 2006, he is living in Le Châble.