"Zehuze" – that's how it goes: this quasi-magical phrase returns over and over again in this monumental novel composed of letters written by a mother to her daughter. The daughter returns to her mother's native land, Hungary, from her land of birth, Palestine, to build a happy new world...
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.
"There are some who love like the hare lost on the motorway, entrapped in spotlights. / There are some who love like the lion that tears apart what it desires. / There are some who love like the pilot loves the town on which he drops his bombs. / There are some who love like the radar that directs planes in the air."
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.