Skip to content

December 6, 2022


#Biography Stefan Zweig

by NancyElin

Autumn in Vienna

The Impossible Exile Stefan Zweig at the End of the World by George Prochnik by George Prochnik George Prochnik

Finish date:December 2022
Genre: biography/memoir
Rating: A+++++
Review: The Impossible Exile (ISBN: 9781783781164)

Good news: Amazing introduction (pg 1-28)…just enthralling!
If this is any indication of what I am about to read (ch 1…) I’m in for
a great reading experience !
This book won the National Jewish Book Award for Biography/Memoir 2014.

Good news: The author is an excellent writer…the book reads like a novel.
Porchnik had a personal connection with Stefan Zweig. The author’s father and family had to flee Vienna during the Anschluss 1938. When Hitler made his triumphal march into Vienna…the Porchniks left their apartment with a handful of belongings they could conceal on their person. It felt like Porchnik by documenting Zweig’s blacklisting and exile…he was tracing ghosts of his own family.

Good news: Stefan Zweig was an at the height of his literary career in the 1920s and 1930s. Now I rarely if ever see his name reading lists despite the fact he as written many biographies (Napoleon, Erasmus, Marie Antoinette) short stories and novellas! I’m so glad I finally learned about this tormented but brilliant man.

Personal: Reading a massive biography is always a commitment…but I has discovered if you take the time to read about an author/playwright you gain so much insight into the masterpieces they have written. There is so much of the “personal” in everything they write. I’d like to recommend a few books that really made me appreciate the man/woman before exploring their books. These are excellent reading choices for #NonFicNov challenge!

Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell is This – M. Meade
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – R. Franklin
James Wright: A Life in Poetry – J. Blunk
Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh – J. Lahr

Read more from Uncategorized
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 7 2022

    Ooo that book sounds good and I love that picture so much!!! Do you know where exactly that picture was taken? The four books linked at the end of your post sound good too. Adding all of them!

    • Dec 7 2022

      I was so impressed learning more about Zweig. So tormented…felt so sad have b/c he was forced to flee the Nazis…leave his beloved Vienna. BTW the foto is taken in a park in Vienna…beautiful isn’t it? The other literary biographies are just a wonderful read. Tennessee Williams’s book is so interesting if you have read his plays or seen the movies based on them. The background information is surprising! Poet James Wright ….just stopped my heart to learn about his life an read some of his poems quoted in the book. Shirley Jackson? I never knew how much her marriage and the crazy home life full of children influenced her mental health. Dorthey Parker…what a woman! Famous quotes: “What fresh hell is this?” and ” I wake up in the morning and brush my teeth, and then I sharpen my tongue.” Hope you enjoy these non-fiction selections!

  2. Dec 7 2022

    Reblogged this on penwithlit and commented:
    Love Zweig and his protégé Joseph Roth

    • Dec 7 2022

      Thank you so much for re-blog…
      Yes, I read about Roth in this book but I’ve never read him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.