Meet our Ladies – Annemarie

Swiss writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach was beautiful and talented. She lived life to the full – but she died tragically young at the age of 34.

At once fragile – she suffered drug addiction – and courageous, she travelled to remote Afghanistan in the 1930s, Annemarie fascinated both men and women. 

Travel appealed to Annemarie’s restless nature and in ten years she produced more than 300 articles and 5,000 photographs from her journeys across Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Africa.

Annemarie first wanted to be a general, then a pianist and a dancer. In the end she studied history at Zurich University, gaining a doctorate. She published her first novel at the age of 23, to great acclaim.

If you wish to know the state of a people, turn to its youth: here, nothing is disfigured yet, they express themselves in ways unset by convention, undulled by habit, unswayed by external dependencies and existential conditions; here, ability and zest for life maintains itself with lovely unselfconsciousness.

— Annemarie Schwarzenbach

Fear? Back then, I didn’t even realize what that new feeling was. Later, when it overwhelmed me and almost pulled me under, I understood. And, since then, a nameless fear has hung like a plume of smoke over the great, colourful desert of this country, above my sometimes blissful, sometimes terrible memories of it

— Annemarie Schwarzenbach

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