After finishing school, he became an elementary school teacher, a job which he held until 1968. Between 1972 and 1989 he made his mark as a "writer in residence" and a guest lecturer at American universities. Bichsel has lived on the outskirts of Solothurn for several decades.
He started publishing short lyric works in newspapers.
In 1960, he got his first success in prose as a private printer. In the winter of 1963-1964 he took part in writing course in prose taught by Walter Höllerer.
One of his first and most well-known works is And Really Frau Blum Would Very Much Like to Meet the Milkman. Just as successful, Children"s Stories, intended for adults, is written in the form of droll tales for children.
Both books were translated from the German by English poet Michael Hamburger.
A theme of Bichsel"s works for younger readers is the stubborn desire of children to take words literally and wreak havoc on the world of communicated ideas. In the early 1970s and 1980s, Bichsel"s journalistic work pushed his literary work mainly into the background. Only Der Busant (1985) and Warten in Baden-Baden appeared again with the Bichsel style that was so familiar to German readers.
Conversely, we have every opportunity to prevent our lives from being boring.
This theme has helped make Peter Bichsel a symbol of German literary work today. Peter Bichsel"s estate is archived in the Swiss Literary Archives in Bern.
Versuche über Gino (1960)
Eigentlich möchte Frau Blum den Milchmann kennenlernen (1964)
Die Jahreszeiten (1967)
Des Schweizers Schweiz (1969)
Inhaltsangabe der Langeweile (Hörspiel, 1971)
Geschichten zur falschen Zeit (Kolumnen, 1979)
Der Leser (1982)
Der Busant (récits, 1985)
Irgendwo anderswo (1986)
Möchten Sie Mozart gewesen sein ? (1990)
Im Gegenteil (1990)
Zur Stadt Paris(1993)
Gegen unseren Briefträger konnte man nichts machen. (1995)
Die Totaldemokraten (1998)
Cherubin Hammer und Cherubin Hammer (1999)
Alles von mir gelernt (2000)
Doktor Schleyers isabellenfarbige Winterschule (2003)
Das süsse Gift der Buchstaben(2004)
Wo wir wohnen (2004)
Cherubin Hammer und Cherubin Hammer (2005)
Kolumnen, Kolumnen (2005).
Akademie der Künste Berlin. Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung]
He was a member of the Gruppe Olten. From 1974 to 1981 he was the personal advisor of Willy Ritschard, a member of the Swiss Federal Council.
In 1981, he was a member of the jury at the 31st Berlin International Film Festival.