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Stefan’s Zweig’s Letter from an Unknown Woman and other stories contains a new translation by the award-winning Anthea Bell of one of his most celebrated novellas, Letter from an Unknown Woman , the inspiration for a classic 1948 Hollywood film by Max Ophüls, as well as three new stories, appearing in English for the first time.
A famous author receives a letter on his forty-first birthday. He doesn’t know the sender, but still the letter concerns him intimately. Its story is earnest, even piteous: the story of a life lived in service to an unannounced, unnoticed love.
In the other stories in this collection, a young man mistakes the girl he loves for her sister; two erstwhile lovers meet after an age spent apart; and a married woman repays a debt of gratitude. All four tales, newly translated by the award-winning Anthea Bell, are among Zweig’s most celebrated and compelling work-expertly paced, laced with empathy and an unwaveringly acute sense of psychological detail.
Letter from an Unknown Woman (Brief einer Unbekannten)
A Story Told in Twilight (Geschichte in der Dämmerung)
The Debt Paid Late (Die spät bezahlte Schuld)
Forgotten Dreams (Vergessene Träume)
‘Stefan Zweig’s time of oblivion is over for good… it’s good to have him back ‘
— Salman Rushdie, The New York Times
‘One hardly knows where to begin in praising Zweig’s work.’
— Ali Smith, TLS Book of the Year 2008
Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was born in Vienna, into a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a poet and translator, then as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and was an international bestseller with a string of hugely popular novellas including Letter from an Unknown Woman, Amok and Fear.
In 1934, with the rise of Nazism, he moved to London, where he wrote his only novel Beware of Pity. He later moved on to Bath, taking British citizenship after the outbreak of the Second World War. With the fall of France in 1940 Zweig left Britain for New York, before settling in Brazil, where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in an apparent double suicide.
Much of his work is available from Pushkin Press.