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“He looked long and deep into her eyes. “I’ll go first,” he said. “You’ll follow me… if that’s what you want.”
On the 22nd February 1942 Stefan Zweig, one of the most popular authors of his generation, committed suicide with his wife Lotte. The final, desperate gesture of this great writer has fascinated ever since.
Zweig was an exile, driven from his home in Austria by the Nazis. Fleeing first to London, then New York, trying always to escape both those who demonised him and those who acclaimed him, he eventually took his young bride to Brazil, where they were haunted by the life they’d been forced to abandon and by accounts of the violence in Europe.
Blending reality and fiction this novel tells the story of the great writer’s final months. Laurent Seksik uncovers the man’s hidden passions, his private suffering, and how he and his wife came to end their lives one peaceful February afternoon.
“A novel of a staggering beauty. We see into the inconsolable soul of the great humanist, become a pariah.”– Le Nouvel Observateur
“A marvel, which will enchant all lovers of Zweig.”– Le Figaro
This tragedy-Racine transplanted to the twentieth century-is told with talent by Laurent Seksik. — Livres Hebdo
“Laurent Seksik recounts this tragedy with a stunning gentleness” Le Point
“Convincing human drama”TLS
Laurent Seksik trained as a doctor, was a radiologist in a Paris hospital and continues to practise medicine alongside his work as a writer. Before The Last Days (2010) he published Les Mauvaises Pensées (1999, translated into ten languages), La Folle Histoire (2004, awarded the Littré Prize) and several other books, including a biography of Albert Einstein. The Last Days was a bestseller in France and has been translated into ten languages. The novel has been adapted for the stage into a very successful play, and a film version is currently in production. Seksik lives and works in Paris.