A beguiling fable about a summer holiday in the Swedish countryside that transforms into a provocative parable about oppression and the evil awaiting Europe as the Nazis came to power. Kurt Tucholsky was a journalist, satirist, feuilletonist, polemicist, and poet, all in all one of the most versatile, provocative, and winning writers of the Weimar Republic; Castle Gripsholm, a short novel about an enchanted summer, which came out in 1931, is the best and most beloved of his works. The book begins with correspondence: Tucholsky's publisher wants a short novel, light, funny, otherwise about whatever Tucholsky wants; Tucholsky is perfectly happy to oblige, presuming the money is right. A deal is eventually struck and the story is off: about Peter, a writer, and his girlfriend Lydia (aka the Princess), and a summer vacation from the hurly-burly of Berlin. Peter and the Princess have three weeks at their disposal, and they have rented a small house attached to a historic castle in Sweden, with its long days and white nights, three weeks for swimming and walking and sex and talking and visits with Peter's buddy Karlchen and with Billy, who is the Princess's best friend. It is perfect, until they meet a weeping girl fleeing the cruel headmistress of a home for children. The vacationers decide they must free the girl and send her back to her mother in Switzerland, which brings about an encounter with authority that casts a worrying shadow over their radiant summer idyll. Soon they must go back to Germany. What kind of fairy tale are they living in?