Summer Before the Dark

Volker Weidermann

Translated by Carol Brown Janeway

Hardback

176 pp

Published 28/01/2016

ISBN 9781782272038

'Absolutely exquisite . . . a contemporary classic' Dave Eggers

'Death in Venice with more sex, more booze, more action.' FT

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week


Ostend, 1936: the Belgian seaside town is playing host to a coterie of artists, intellectuals and madmen, who find themselves in limbo while Europe gazes into an abyss of fascism and war.

Among them is Stefan Zweig, a man in crisis: his German publisher has shunned him, his marriage is collapsing, his house in Austria no longer feels like home. Along with his lover Lotte, he seeks refuge in this paradise of promenades and parasols, where he reunites with his estranged friend Joseph Roth. For a moment, they create a fragile haven; but as Europe begins to crumble around them, they find themselves trapped on an uncanny kind of holiday, watching the world burn.

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