By Ernst Weiss
A tale of tragedy and murder in 1930s Bohemia
Set in the idyllic landscape of rural Bohemia in the 1930s, this is the tragic love story of Jarmila, the village beauty, and a toy maker who falls under her siren spell. The wife of the far older local feather-merchant, Jarmila enjoys all the pleasures her husband's wealth can buy, yet still longs for true love which she hopes to find in her affair with the penniless toy-maker. When she conceives a child by him, he urges her to leave her husband for a life of love and freedom in New York. Guilt-ridden and suddenly facing a destitute life in a strange country, Jarmila refuses lo leave. Her devastated lover asks for one more meeting and tragedy ensues. The typescript of this novella was discovered recently at Prague University. Stefan Zweig, a friend of Ernst Weiss, believed it to be Weiss' best work.
Translated by Petra Howard-Wuerz, Rebecca Morrison
Cover illustration by George Brassaï
Published 27 February 2006