Impatience of the Heart

Impatience of the Heart

Summary

The great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig was a master anatomist of the deceitful heart, and Impatience of the Heart, the only novel he published during his lifetime, uncovers the seed of selfishness within even the finest of feelings.

Hofmiller, an Austro-Hungarian cavalry officer stationed at the edge of the empire, is invited to a party at the home of a rich local landowner, a world away from the dreary routine of the barracks. The surroundings are glamorous, wine flows freely, and the exhilarated young Hofmiller asks his host's lovely daughter for a dance, only to discover that sickness has left her painfully crippled. It is a minor blunder that will destroy his life, as pity and guilt gradually implicate him in a well-meaning but tragically wrongheaded plot to restore the unhappy invalid to health.

About the author

Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna to a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. Recognition as a writer came early for Zweig; by the age of forty, he had already won literary fame. In 1934, with Nazism entrenched, Zweig left Austria for England, and became a British citizen in 1940. In 1941 he and his second wife went to Brazil, where they committed suicide. Zweig's best-known works of fiction are Beware of Pity (1939) and The Royal Game (1944), but his most outstanding accomplishments were his many biographies, which were based on psychological interpretation.
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