This was Zweig lost book so to speak not published in German until 1982 ,forty years after his death .Zweig in his day was the most widely translated writer ib the world ,but had fallen out of print in English til the late nineties when Pushkin press ,N.Y.R.B books and sort of books ,slowly started reissuing his work .Zweig was a pacifist and had to flee his native Austria when Hitler rose to power ,traveling to his eventual death in 1942 in Brazil .

The book –

The book follows Christine Hoeflehner a young Austrian women in the post world war one Austria ,her mother is an invalid as she lives in a provincial town and works hard in the post office ,not really enjoying her life .Then she gets a chance to travel to meet an aunt who has return to europe after making a fortune in America ,Christine ends up in the swiss alps living the high life in fine clothes and fine dining . But this comes to the end all of a sudden after a number of disagreement ,and Christine returns to Austria with her tail between her legs ,disappointed with her life Christine meets Ferdinand a kinder spirit and life brightens slightly.

One village post office in Austria is much like another ;seen one you’ve seen them all .Each with the meagre furnishings provided (or rather issued ,like uniforms )during Franz Josef ‘s rule ,all drawn from the same stock ,their sad look of administrative stinginess is the same every where .even in the most remote mountain villages of the Tyrol …..

the opening of the post office girl .

My view –

Zweig captures the hopelessness of the mundane life of Christine wonderfully ,his writing is poetic at times and fits nicely with that of his contemporary at the time Joseph Roth and Robert Musil ,I did feel the second part of the book dropped of a bit ,the scenes in Switzerland where wonderful .I will be getting some more Zweig probably the Pushkin ones that rob at robaroundbooks so likes .


links –

Stefan Zweig .org

Stefan Zweig the german site

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sally906
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 01:53:40

    Hey there Stu

    My friend Lisa from ANZ lit lovers directed me to this blog when I asked for hints for books to read prior to my visit to Europe next year. Though i lean to the lighter and fluffier end of genre town – I found to my delight two suggestions from your blog – so want to thank you 🙂

    I have purchased a copy of this book (The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig ) and also Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer – both of which appeal to me 🙂


  2. Trackback: Journey into the past by Stefan Zweig | Winstonsdad's Blog

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April 2010


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