It would be very hard to find anything more absurd and nonsensical than the Hungarian army of the Socialist era. Face and About-Face recounts the unique experience of the one-year compulsory army service that young men who had been admitted to college or university had to complete before starting their studies.
Andreï Makine, Russian by birth but writing in French, was one of the
participants at the Budapest Book Festival in April 2011. In a talk organized at the
festival, Makine told his audience about his new book, Alternaissance,
published under the pseudonym of Gabriel Osmonde.
9 kilos is Zsuzsa Selyem's first fictional work. It is an experimental novel based on the structure of Psalm 119, in various styles – from minimalistic dialogues to theoretical passages – and told by several narrators in search for connections between the episodes of a story happening in the 90s in the squares of post-communist East European cities.
Today in Hungary any intellectual who feels
responsible for the community and tries to mediate, faces serious
difficulties. If someone wants to write about public issues and social
questions, independently and in an unbiased way, they could easily be
forced into a strict dichotomy and mindless political logic. A kind of
courage is needed, therefore, in order to speak up, because each word
could touch a nerve.