After a long, eventful life in Germany, Belgium and Paris, the writer Thea Sternheim settled in Basel in 1963. Her diaries and wide-ranging correspondence reflect her own personal struggle as well as the social catastrophes of the 20th century. She spent most of her life in the shadow of her husband, the renowned and scandal-ridden playwright Carl Sternheim. Yet in her own right, she played an active role in the dawn of modernism: as an inspiration, patron and collector of avant-garde art, as an intellectual friend to numerous artists, but above all as a highly perceptive chronicler of her age. Now Dorothea Zwirner offers us the first biography of this unconventional woman.