Born in Budapest in 1927, Szilárd Rubin lost his mother at the age of ten. His father and other members of his family died by violence. Rubin’s first book, Playing Chicken was published in 1963. Although it went against the expectations of socialist realism, some of his contemporaries immediately realized its value, with writer Miklós Szentkuthy calling the book a “true-blooded, modern Werther.” Playing Chicken was rediscovered in the 1990s. Rubin wrote five books, two of which earned him a late, but worldwide recognition: his unique and concise writing, mixing sentimentality with cruel self-examination has been compared to works of Marcel Proust, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Rubin died in 2010 in Tapolca, Hungary after a long illness.