Writing from Exile

By | February 8, 2011

Stefan and Lotte Zweig's South American Letters, one of our titles from last fall, has been receiving highly favorable reviews from leading critics in America and Brazil.  Zweig, an Austrian writer of Jewish ancestry, was one of interwar Europe’s leading men of letters.  As the Nazis rose to power, he went into self-imposed exile with his second wife Lotte, eventually settling in Brazil.  This new work, edited by Darien J. Davis and Oliver Marshall, compiles the previously unpublished letters sent by the couple shortly before their tragic double suicide.  In addition to clarifying the psychological context in which this act of despair took place, it vastly enriches our understanding of Lotte, whose agency in the Zweig marriage has hitherto been overlooked.  “South American Letters” is recommended reading not only for scholars of Stefan Zweig, but also for those studying the psychology of displacement and the production of art in exile.

'Among the many merits of this compelling, carefully edited volume is the insight it provides into a problem confronting all refugees from Nazi dominated Europe: How might one begin conceiving a new vision of home while “the old country” went up in flames? They also tell the melancholy story of how, barely a year after the euphoric Bahia letter, Stefan and Lotte committed suicide in Petropolis, above Rio.'—Jewish Review of Books

'Davis and Marshall offer a rare glimpse into the lives of the prolific author Stefan Zweig and his second wife, Lotte, through a collection of personal letters. […] The editors present the vital historical knowledge of not only the infamous couple, but also the growing political turmoil that would escalate into WWII, illuminated in part by the organization of the correspondence here. Though written mostly to Lotte's brother and sister-in-law, the letters reveal a growing depression and a lack of contact with friends and family, illuminating both the general hopelessness common to that era and the importance of a sense of belonging.' – Publishers Weekly

To read a preview of this fantastic book please click on the widget above.

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