Ostend: Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, and the Summer Before the Dark (Hardcover)
"Volker Weidermann's poignant, sometimes dark humored, portrayal of writers in exile has stayed with me throughout this difficult year."— Martin
It's the summer of 1936, and the writer Stefan Zweig is in crisis. His German publisher no longer wants him, his marriage is collapsing, and his house in Austria--searched by the police two years earlier--no longer feels like home. He's been dreaming of Ostend, the Belgian beach town that is a paradise of promenades, parasols, and old friends. So he journeys there with his lover, Lotte Altmann, and reunites with fellow writer and semi-estranged close friend Joseph Roth, who is himself about to fall in love. For a moment, they create a fragile haven. But as Europe begins to crumble around them, the writers find themselves trapped on vacation, in exile, watching the world burn. In Ostend, Volker Weidermann lyrically recounts "the summer before the dark," when a coterie of artists, intellectuals, drunks, revolutionaries, and madmen found themselves in limbo while Europe teetered on the edge of fascism and total war.
Ostend is the true story of two of the twentieth century's great writers, written with a novelist's eye for pacing, chronology, and language--a dazzling work of historical nonfiction.
(Translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway)
About the Author
VOLKER WEIDERMANN, born in Darmstadt in 1969, studied politics and German studies in Heidelberg and Berlin. He began his career as a culture journalist before serving as literary director and editor of the Sunday edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He is currently a writer and editor covering literature for Der Spiegel. Weidermann received the Kurt Tucholsky Prize for Literary Journalism for Buch der verbrannten Bucher (The Book of Burned Books) and is the author of several works of literary history and critical biography.