Ostend, 1936: the Belgian seaside town is playing host to a coterie of artists, intellectuals and madmen, where they find themselves in limbo when Europe gazed into an abyss of fascism and war.
Among them is Stefan Zweig, a man in crisis: his German publisher has shunned him, his marriage is collapsing, his house in Austria no longer feels like home.
Zweig along with his lover Lotte, seeks refuge in this paradise of promenades and parasols, where he unites with his estranged friend Joseph Roth.
They create a fragile haven for a moment; but as Europe begins to crumble around them, they find themselves trapped, watching the world burn.
Volker Weidermann (born 1969) is a German writer and literary critic. He currently works for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as the literary director and editor of the newspaper’s Sunday edition. Weidermann studied political science along with German language and linguistics at Heidelberg and Berlin. For many years he wrote as a Literary critic for the Berlin-based Tageszeitung, where he was employed as editor between 1998 and 2001. He then switched to the “Literary directorship” of the then newly established Sunday edition of the venerable Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Since 2003 he has headed up the publication jointly with Claudius Seidl