By Stefan Zweig
Translated by Cedar Paul / Eden Paul / Anthea Bell
Cover illustration by Edward Steichen
Letter from an Unknown Woman
The Fowler Snared
The invisible collection
24 Hours in the Life of a Woman
Fantastic Night is the story of one transforming evening in the life of a rich and bored young man. He spends a day at the races and an evening in the seedy but thrilling company of the dregs of society. His experiences jolt him out of his languor and give him a newfound relish for life, which is then cut short by the Great War. The Invisible Collection and Buchmendel, two of Zweig's most powerful works, explore lives led in the single minded pursuit of art and literature against a backdrop of poverty and corruption. Letter from an Unknown Woman, is a poignant and heartbreaking tale of the strength and madness of unrequited love. This story was made into a film by Max Ophuls starring Joan Fontaine (1948). In The Fowler Snared, it is the man whose passion remains unrequited. Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman is the story of a middle-aged English widow who travels to escape loneliness and boredom. One evening while enjoying the elegant atmosphere of the Monte Carlo Casino, she becomes mesmerised by the obsessive gambling of a young Polish aristocrat. This fateful encounter leads to passion, despair and death, changing their lives forever.
Translated from the German by Eden and Cedar Paul, Stefan Zweig's Selected Stories is published by Pushkin Press.
Stefan Zweig (1881–1942)was born in Vienna, a member of 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 enjoyed 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.