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Book cover of Background for Love

Background for Love

Helen Wolff
Marion Detjen


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In a giddy rush, a young woman and her older lover leave 1930s Berlin for a summer vacation on the Côte d'Azur. As they drive along stunning bays, linger over sumptuous meals and steal kisses on the street, they seem marvellously in sync, each enchanted by the other. But as she observes her lover's wandering eye and rigid world-view, the woman decides to leave in search of a cottage of her own near Saint-Tropez. There, amid the vineyards and lemon trees, she will forge startling new connections and pass an unforgettable summer of independence and freedom. Background for Love is an autobiographical novel by the great publisher Helen Wolff, who together with her husband, Kurt Wolff, set up Pantheon Books in America after fleeing Nazi Germany. In the fascinating companion essay, historian Marion Detjen, the author's great-niece, delves into Helen's path to writing and the autobiographical context of the novel in her early life with Kurt. Recently recovered from the archive and translated for the first time by the author's grandson, Tristram Wolff, this is a lushly atmospheric, irresistible novel of passion and self-discovery.
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Binding: Hardback
Publication date: 06 Jun 2024
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 135 mm
ISBN: 9781805330721