Born in Vienna, the prolific Zweig was a poet in his early years. In the 1920s, he achieved fame with the many biographies he wrote of famous people including Balzac, Dostoevsky, Dickens and Freud. Erasmus with whom he closely identified, was the subject of a longer biography. He also wrote the novellas Amok (1922) and The Royal Game (1944). As Nazism spread, Zweig, a Jew, fled to the United States and then to Brazil. He hoped to start a new life there, but the haunting memory of Nazism, still undefeated, proved too much for him. He died with his wife in a suicide pact.
Anthea Bell was born in Suffolk, was educated at Somerville College, Oxford, and has worked as a translator for a number of years, primarily from German and French. Her translations include works of non-fiction, literary and popular fiction, and books for young people including classic German works by the Brothers Grimm, Clemens Brentano, Wilhelm Hauff and Christian Morgenstern. Bell has also served on the committee of the Translators` Association and the jury panel of the Schlegel-Tieck German translation prize in Great Britain. She has been the recipient of a number of translation prizes and awards, among them the 1987 Schlegel-Tieck Award for Hans Bermans The Stone and the Flute (Viking) and the first Marsh Award for Childrens Literature in Translation for Christine Nstlingers A Dogs Life (Andersen Press). Bell was selected by a five-member jury as the recipient of the 2002 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translators Prize for her exceptional translation of W.G. Sebalds novel Austerlitz, published Random House.
A regular contributor to the New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and The New Republic, Andre Aciman was born in Alexandria: raised in Egypt, Italy, and France; and educated at Harvard. He teaches literature at Bard College and lives in Manhattan.