This is a collection of short stories that were written around a common theme: people venturing to new lands, mostly the Middle East - being as an adventure, for work, or in exile - and the disillusion and heartbreak that this may bring with it.
As you can see from the star rating, this collection completely threw me.
I don't know what I expected but what I got was one story after another of precise snap shots of life. AS was a photojournalist and in this collection she seems to have pointed the camera at scenes she encountered and stories she heard and then etched the shot in words rather than on film. It is superb.
The stories in this collection were all written in 1934/35 but because of her opposition to the German politics of the time and her affiliation with authors and artists banned in Germany, no publisher was prepared to take on the task. Not even when AS received the support by Thomas Mann. The collection remained unpublished until decades after AS' untimely death - otherwise, who knows, she could have been celebrated as Switzerland's answer to Hemingway and Fitzgerald.