The only novel by the Nobel Prize-winning author of the sociological study Crowds and Power, Auto-da-Fé is the story of a naïve and reclusive intellectual, a professor living for and in his library, who makes the terrible mistake of marrying his illiterate and sadistic housekeeper. Step by step, she destroys him, his property, and his values; the story ends with the conflagration (auto-da-fé) of both the professor and his precious library. Canetti’s novel, written shortly after Hitler came to power in Germany, can be read as a parable of the Nazi destruction of traditional intellectual and aesthetic values in favor of the New Order.