Gregor von Rezzori (1914–1998) was born in Czernowitz (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), Bukovina, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He later described his childhood in a family of declining fortunes as one “spent among slightly mad and dislocated personalities in a period that also was mad and dislocated and filled with unrest.’’ After studying at the University of Vienna, Rezzori moved to Bucharest and enlisted in the Romanian army. During World War II , he lived in Berlin, where he worked as a radio broadcaster and published his first novel. In West Germany after the war, he wrote for both radio and film and began publishing books at a rapid rate, including the four-volume Idiot’s Guide to German Society. From the late 1950s on, Rezzori had parts in several French and West German films, including one directed by his friend Louis Malle. In 1967, after spending years classified as a stateless person, Rezzori settled in a fifteenth-century farmhouse outside of Florence with his wife, gallery owner Beatrice Monte della Corte. There he produced some of his best-known works, among them Memoirs of an Anti-Semite and the memoir The Snows of Yesteryear: Portraits for an Autobiography (both published by NYRB Classics).
The first of Rezzori’s three books based on memories of his Austro-Hungarian hometown, a “melting pot for dozens of ethnic groups, languages, creeds, temperaments, and customs.” While the story centers on the downfall of a once glamorous Hussar, it is really about childhood enchantment and the richness of a vanished world. “A flashing novel of ideas.” —Time
Buy all three books—An Ermine in Czernopol, Memoirs of an Anti-Semite, and The Snows of Yesteryear —by Gregor von Rezzori together at a special discount.
The author of Memoirs of an Anti-Semite tells his own story through portraits of the members of his childhood household. “An elegiac tribute to a receding past and a testament to the redemptive powers of memory—a family photography album, beautifully translated into words.—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Book Review
Called “a rich, disquietingly good book” by The New York Times, the five interconnected stories in Memoirs of an Anti-Semite provide a panoramic yet intimate view of the deterioration of the European aristocracy in the years preceding World War II and the difficult decades that followed.