Memoirs of a European
The World of Yesterday is one of the greatest memoirs of the twentieth century, as perfect in its evocation of the world Zweig loved, as it is in its portrayal of how that world was destroyed -- David Hare This absolutely extraordinary book is more than just an autobiography. (...) This is a book that should be read by anyone who is even slightly interested in the creative imagination and the intellectual life, the brute force of history upon individual lives, the possibility of culture and, quite simply, what it meant to be alive between 1881 and 1942. That should cover a fair number of you -- Nicholas Lezard His memoir, The World of Yesterday, is one of his best works, a marvellous recapturing of a Europe that Hitler and his thugs destroyed. Zweig seems to have known everyone, and writes about the great figures of his day with insight, sympathy and, most unusually for a writer, modesty -- John Banville One of the canonical European testaments... [Zweig's] life and work tell of the perilous flimsiness of our world of security-a message that many insistently deny, but somehow need to hear -- John Gray New Statesman Unnervingly topical The Week
Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a translator and later as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and enjoying literary fame. His stories and novellas were collected in 1934. In the same year, with the rise of Nazism, he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York, he settled in Brazil where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in bed in an apparent double suicide.