Tobias Hill, Readers' Guide to Stefan Zweig, literary prizes

The film maker Wes Anderson has said that his latest movie The Grand Budapest Hotel was inspired by the life and works of the Viennese writer Stefan Zweig. Biographer George Prochnik and writer Tibor Fischer explore this once hugely popular early 20th century author, who was the most widely translated writer of his time.

Tobias Hill talks to Mariella Frostrup about his latest novel What was Promised, which begins in a bombed out East End in the grip of rationing in 1948. It's a visceral account of the lives of a community of locals and recent immigrants in a Columbia Road tenement as they emerge from the bomb dust and abandoned wastelands to try and pursue a better future.

This year sees the inauguration of two new major literary prizes - The Folio Prize and The Etisalat Prize for Literature. This is also the first year for the renamed Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, and we've also seen the revamping of The Wellcome Book Prize, Fiction Uncovered and the Man Booker. Writer and critic Olivia Laing discusses the prizes and the impact they could have for readers

There has been much talk this month about the plight and pleasure of independent bookshops, as they fall below the one thousand mark in the UK. Thankfully one place they continue to thrive is in the pages of books themselves, the latest being 'The Collected Works of AJ Fikry', which is set in a ramshackle independent bookshop on an island. It's Radio 4's Book at Bedtime so Open Book have a clip to whet your appetite.

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

Release date:

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Thu 13 Mar 2014 15:30


The Impossible Exile by George Prochnik - Publisher: Other Press

What Was Promised by Tobias Hill - Publisher: Bloomsbury

The Collected Works of A J Fickry by Gabrielle Zevin - Publisher: Little, Brown

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig


Read the Opening Chapter of What Was Promised by Tobias Hill

Chapter 1: What Was Promised by Tobias Hill


What Was Promised 



Role Contributor
PresenterMariella Frostrup
Interviewed GuestTobias Hill
Interviewed GuestGeorge Prochnik
Interviewed GuestTibor Fischer
Interviewed GuestOlivia Laing
ProducerAndrea Kidd

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