Around the turn of the century, masses of poor Hungarians set off to America with the hope of making a fortune in the New World. István Árvai, his wife and two children are among them. They leave Hungary with the intention to make some money, then return and buy some land. However, the world they had left behind will be lost forever, ravaged by World War I and the Treaty of Trianon which left Hungary with roughly one-third of its pre-war territory and two-thirds of its population. Thus, István Árvai and his family (like Oravecz’s grandparents) eventually decide not to return to their homeland. Imre Oravecz spent years in the US in the 1970s, travelling back and forth between the US and Hungary, before eventually returning to settle in his native village, Szajla. He did extensive research about the life of Hungarian communities of workers on oil rigs in Toledo, Ohio and Southern California to produce this pageturner of a novel which narrates the life of these unsung people, hovering between homesickness and the desire to make a new home in the New World.
Hungarian emigrants in America in the 1910s
ISBN 978 963 1435 04 7
2016, hard cover with jacket
648 pages, 135×197 mm
English excerpts available