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Annemarie Schwarzenbach

This disturbing gaze  of an inconsolable Angel.

Annemarie Schwarzenbach was born in Zurich on May 23 , 1908 into a family of Swiss industrialists from the upper middle class and close to the extreme right. She is the granddaughter of General Ulrich Wille , and the daughter of Alfred Schwarzenbach, a silk tycoon. From 1927 , she studied history and literature in Zurich and Paris and began to write articles for the Swiss press.

In 1930, she became friends with Klaus Mann and Erika Mann , children of Thomas Mann , and support in their fight against Nazism 1 . They notably include the anti-fascist journal Die Sammlung.

In 1931 , she obtained a doctorate . She is 23  years and publishes his first novel, Les Amis de Bernhard. She befriended Claude Bourdet , son of Catherine Pozzi and future resistance member, with whom she will exchange a long correspondence 2 .

In 1933 , Annemarie Schwarzenbach made her first trip as a journalist which took her to Spain with photographer Marianne Breslauer .

The same year, she went to Persia where, although little attracted by men, in 1935 she married the secretary of the French legation , Achille Clarac in Tehran , in order to no longer be dependent on her parents 3 .

Subsequently, she returned to Switzerland, then left for the Soviet Union and the United States . In 1938 , she carried out several detoxification cures. During these stays in the clinic, she wrote The Happy Valley (Das glückliche Tal).

When she returned to Europe, war broke out. In 1939 - 1940 , taking advantage of Swiss neutrality as Europe plunged again into war, she traveled by Ford from Geneva to Kabul , via Iran , with Swiss traveler, writer and photographer Ella Maillart. 4 . A journey marked by his addiction problems. An epic narrated by Ella Maillart in her book La Voie cruelle 5 . It was during this journey that Annemarie Schwarzenbach wrote the book Un hiver au Proche-Orient. She also produces various reports for Swiss newspapers 6 .

Back from her journey, she returned to the United States again, where her dependence on morphine, her depressive tendencies and her suicide attempts forced her to undergo several psychiatric treatments. She then became interested in trade union movements. In New York , she befriends Carson McCullers , who falls madly in love with her and dedicates Reflections in a Golden Eye to her.

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