Stefanie Zweig

The House on Rothschild Street

 

LangenMuller Herbig/Germany, Czech,Polish, Dutch, French rights sold.

Stefanie Zweig’s life and works are fascinating in equal measure, and her novels convey many elements of her own astonishing life story. Zweig was born to a Jewish family in Germany in 1932, one year before Hitler assumed power there. By 1938, her family was on the run, and found its way to a farm in Kenya, where the young Stefanie spent nine formative years. She became fluent in Swahili, and savored her experience in Africa. Decades later, her autobiographical novel about this period, Nowhere in Africa, was made into a stunning movie (directed by Caroline Link) that created a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic, and was awarded the 2003 Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film. After the war ended, the Zweigs were uprooted once again when her father accepted a job in Germany and the family returned to a country that had become alien territory, much the way Kenya had been in the 1930s. Stefanie Zweig eventually became a cultural journalist in Frankfurt and a highly successful novelist—her captivating novels have sold more than twenty million copies worldwide to date, and her style and subject matter have been compared to the writings of Ursula Hegi, Karen Blixen, and Rudyard Kipling. Now eighty years old, Stefanie Zweig still lives in Frankfurt, where The House on Rothschildallee is set.

The House on Rothschildallee, which is 270 pages in length, is the first volume of a four-part family novel about the fictitious Sternberg family, whose fate as German Jews largely parallels the author’s own. It should be emphasized that although the three subsequent volumes in this tetralogy (The Children of Rothschildallee (which covers the years 1926-1937), The Return to Rothschildallee (1941-1948), and A New Beginning on Rothschildallee (1948-1950)) continue the saga of the Sternbergs through the war years and into the postwar period, The House on Rothschildallee can easily be acquired, and enjoyed by readers, as a stand-alone novel.