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A doctor in the Dutch East Indies torn between his medical duty to help and his own mixed emotions; a middle-aged maidservant whose devotion to her master leads her to commit a terrible act; a hotel waiter whose love for an unapproachable aristocratic beauty culminates in an almost lyrical death and a prisoner-of-war longing to be home again in Russia. In these four stories, Stefan Zweig shows his gift for the acute analysis of emotional dilemmas. His four tragic and moving cameos of the human condition are played out against cosmopolitan and colonial backgrounds in the first half of the twentieth century.

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