A casual introduction, a challenge to a simple game of chess, a lovers' reunion, a meaningless infidelity: from such small seeds Zweig brings forth five startlingly tense tales-meditations on the fragility of love, the limits of obsession, the combustibility of secrets and betrayal.To read anything by Zweig is to risk addiction; in this collection the power of his writing-which, with its unabashed intensity and narrative drive, made him one of the bestselling and most acclaimed authors in the world-is clear and irresistible. Each of these stories is a bolt of experience, unforgettable and unique. Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 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. Between the wars, Zweig was an international bestseller with a string of hugely popular novellas includingLetter from an Unknown Woman ,Amok andFear . In 1934, with the rise of Nazism, he left Austria, and lived in London, Bath and New York - a period during which he produced his most celebrated works: his only novel,Beware of Pity , and his memoir,The World of Yesterday . He eventually settled 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.