Madame Curie narrates the story of Marie Skłodowska-Curie (1867–1934), the first woman scientist to win worldwide fame, and indeed, one of the great scientists of this century. Winner of two Nobel Prizes (for physics in 1903 and for chemistry in 1911), she performed pioneering studies with radium and contributed profoundly to the understanding of radioactivity.
The recorded oral memories of Agnessa Mironova (1903-1982) is a must book for anybody who wants to know what was a personal life like under Stalinism. For the first time ever, Agnessa’s notes open the secret door into living rooms and boudoirs of Stalin’s “hangmen”, top-ranked Soviet secret police officers during the purges of 1930-40ies.
Zweig devoted ten years of research and writing to Balzac, which he regarded as his crowning achievement. This late work reads like a picaresque novel, with Balzac’s quest for “a woman with a fortune” and recurrent episodes of the author chasing an elusive pot of gold driving the story. This biography of one classic author by another is filled with Zweig’s characteristic psychological insights.
The Lily of the Valley (Le Lys dans la Vallée) is a long confession of a passionate love of a young man, Félix de Vandenesse, for a mature woman, Madame de Mortsauf. Unlike many others novels from La Comédie humaine that serve as a critique of social, political and moral conditions of his time, The Lily of the Valley depicts a timeless private theme of first love and its agony.