Author(s): Stefan Zweig
In 1913, a young second lieutenant discovers the terrible dangers of pity. He had no idea the girl was lame when he asked her to dance-his compensatory afternoon calls relieve his guilt but give her a dangerous glimmer of hope. Stefan Zweig's only novel is a devastatingly unindulgent portrayal of the torment of the betrayal of both honor and love, realized against the background of the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 into a wealthy Viennese Jewish family. He studied at the Universities of Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a poet and translator, then as a biographer. Zweig traveled widely, living in Salzburg, London and New York before settling in Brazil where he and his wife were found dead in 1942.
It's just a masterpiece. When I read it I thought, how is it that I don't already know about this? Wes Anderson Zweig's fictional masterpiece Guardian The novel I'll really remember reading this year is Stefan Zweig's frighteningly gripping Beware of Pity, first published in 1939 ... and part of the ongoing, valiant reprinting by Pushkin Press of Zweig's collected oeuvre; an intoxicating, morally shaking read about human responsibilities and a real reminder of what fiction can do best -- Ali Smith TLS Book of the Year 2008 An unremittingly tense parable about emotional blackmail, this is a book which turns every reader into a fanatic -- Julie Kavanagh Intelligent Life (The Economist) Beware of Pity is the most exciting book I have ever read...a feverish, fascinating novel -- Antony Beevor Sunday Telegraph Original and powerful The New York Times I was riveted by it Colin Firth Absolutely marvellous Roy Hodgson
Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was born in Vienna, into 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 was an international bestseller with a string of hugely popular novellas including Letter from an Unknown Woman, Amok and Fear. In 1934, with the rise of Nazism, he moved to London, where he wrote his only novel Beware of Pity. He later moved on to Bath, taking British citizenship after the outbreak of the Second World War. With the fall of France in 1940 Zweig left Britain for New York, before settling in Brazil, where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in an apparent double suicide. Much of his work is available from Pushkin Press.