Jakob Wassermann (1873-1934) was a prominent - and towards the end of his life
bestselling - German-Jewish wrtier who lived mostly in Vienna after 1906. Wassermann was
most renknowed for his fiction but also wrote plays, biographies and a memoir My Path as
a German and a Jew. He was friends with Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Mann and many other
prominent writers of the time. His books were burned and forbidden by the Nazis starting in
1933. My First Wife is undoubtedly based in part on Wassermann's own troubled
marriage to Julie Speyer.