translated by Patrick Bowles
Somewhere in Central Europe, an elderly millionairesse, Claire Zachanassian, returns to Guellen, her home town, after an absence of many years. Merely on the promise of her millions, she shortly turns what has been a depressed area into a boom town. But there is a condition attached to her largess, which the natives of Guellen realize only after they have become enmeshed in her vengeful plot: murder. Out of these elements, Durrenmatt has fashioned a many-leveled play which is at once a macabre parable, a deeply moving tragedy, and a scathing indictment of the power of greed.