New Books

Noémi Kiss: Balaton

Könyv: Balaton (Kiss Noémi)A hot summer’s day in the 1980s by Lake Balaton. A little girl is being taught how to swim by her grandfather. When they get out of the water, they find a corpse among the reeds. Like in all of Noémi Kiss’s powerful stories about the Balaton, aka ‘the Hungarian sea’, the excitement of discovering new things mingles with the unsettling emotion of anxiety. More

Géza Bereményi: A Hungarian Copperfield

Bereményi Géza-Magyar Copperfield (új példány) - konyvkolcsoA memoir of the author’s childhood and teenage years, Géza Bereményi’s book is a fascinating chronicle of post-war Hungary, taking in the 1956 revolution and the consolidation of the communist regime in the stifling 1960s. More

Judit Szaniszló: The Life of Leli

Könyv: Leli élete (Szaniszló Judit)Leli browses among family photos and sets about describing them. The result is a family novel, or rather, fragments of a family novel, composed of chunks of memory. As the family photos are detailed, the past, narrated in the present tense, comes alive. More

Boldizsár Fehér: Blind Monkey

feher_boldizsar_vak_majomTwo Nobel Prize winning scientists announce to the residents of a luxury hotel in Paris that in the next few days they will be taking part in an experiment. The story is told by a young man in his twenties, until recently Hungary’s richest person, but now on the run from the police. He tries to find refuge in the hotel where the curious experiment is taking place. More

Anita Harag: Rather Cool for the Time of the Year

evszakhozReading Anita Harag’s stories is a bit like watching an episode from a series that has been going on for many months. Nothing special happens to her characters: they wake up, go to work, visit their relatives. But if we take a closer look, these simple gestures and chores reveal complex relationships and are suffused with pain, desire and loss. More

Sándor Neszlár: A Carpenter’s Stepson

neszlarSándor Neszlár’s book is exciting experimental prose: he writes a sentence for each kilometre he’s run. The novel is a sum of these sentences, brought to life by the runner’s thoughts, now focussed, now wandering freely. The sentences themselves are unusual: they are almost all impersonal, concealing their narrator. A Carpenter’s Stepson is a veiled autobiography that urges the reader, too, to explore the places of their own life, and run through their own sentences. More

Ádám Bodor: Nowhere

seholÁdám Bodor’s long-awaited new volume comprises seven short stories. The ‘nowhere’ of the title is a place familiar from Bodor’s previous works: the peripheries of Eastern Europe, a land characterized by oppression, misery and absurdity on the one hand, and a kind of fairy-tale magic, strange and powerful emotional ties and natural beauty on the other. More

Pál Závada: Adrift in the Fog

hajo.jpgZávada’s new novel focuses on a legendary family at a dramatic moment in history. It is spring 1944, Hitler’s army has just invaded Hungary, and the inheritors of the Manfréd Weiss Works are weighing their chances of survival. More

Krisztián Grecsó: Vera

vera.jpgKrisztián Grecsó, one of the most popular writers in Hungary, has written a beautiful novel. Vera takes place in the city of Szeged, in 1980, against the backdrop of the stuffy world of the final, weary decade of socialism with its overwhelming lies, corruption and nepotism. More

Réka Mán-Várhegyi: Magnet Hill

magneshegy.jpgRéka Mán-Várhegyi’s European Literature Prize winning novel paints a vivid picture of the life of young academics in Hungary at the beginning of the 21st century. But Magnet Hill is much more than a campus novel: through the struggle of the main characters, we glimpse several layers of contemporary Hungarian society, each with their particular milieu, history, prejudices and challenges. More

Judit Kováts: Expelled

expelled.jpgLilli Hartmann, an ethnic German schoolgirl living in pre-World War II Czechoslovakia, is one of the more than twelve million ethnic Germans from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary who were held collectively responsible for World War II. Her story is not only part of a chapter in the history of twentieth-century Europe that has been suppressed for too long, but the story of a refugee, of someone forced by history to leave her homeland, raising questions that are all too timely today. More

Krisztina Tóth: White Wolf

wwThese are stories of trauma, oppression, submission, exclusion, stigma and violence. Many of them tell of painful secrets: childhood abuses, unpunished crimes, lost children – suffering that goes without punishment, apology and forgiveness. More

Edina Szvoren: My Poems

verseim.jpgIn Edina Szvoren’s fourth short story collection, which carries the deceptive title My Poems, several characters are engaged in writing: stepping outside reality in a way that still keeps them part of it. More

László Szilasi: Luther’s Dogs

luther.jpgSzilasi’s novel narrates the story of the author’s battle with a brain tumor, which started with him losing consciousness during a class he was teaching at the university. As he tries to come to terms with this harrowing experience, he pieces together the various aspects of his life. More

Iván Sándor: The Seventh Day

hetediknap.jpgIn Iván Sándor’s new novel, large masses of people are forced to abandon their homes in various parts of Europe. We are in the continent’s sixteenth-century, in the years before the Thirty Years’ War, with Spaniards, Germans, Flemings, Catholics and Protestants maiming and murdering each other on a daily basis. Two young men, Thomas and Jensen, and a girl, Eliz, leave their home in Leiden, for different reasons. More

Dénes Krusovszky: Those We Will Never Be

akikmar.jpgIn 1990, a man crashes his car and dies close to Iowa City. In 2013, a young man wakes up in Budapest after a bitter row with his girlfriend and takes the train to his native town in the eastern part of the country. In 1986, a patient suffering from post-polio syndrome and lying in an iron lung asks his male nurse to record him narrating his life. Gradually, the pieces of the mosaic slowly come together in this slow-paced, beautiful and poignant book, the first novel from Dénes Krusovszky, one of the most significant poets of his generation. More