When renowned film director Péter Gárdos wrote the story, he intended it as a film script, but eventually he made it into a novel. “Fever at Dawn,” the love story of two Holocaust survivors―the author’s parents―has ever since sold in more than 20 territories.
An attempt to come to terms with the death of a father who narrowly escaped the murders of Nazi-allied Hungary, this short novel is a chronicle of the fraught relationship between a Holocaust survivor and his son, as well as an attempt to work through a specific historical situation: the long-lasting, and notably patriarchal, “soft dictatorship” of Hungarian Communism.
Kjell Westö (1961), who belongs to Finland's Swedish minority, won the Finlandia Prize for his grand novel on Finnish history from 1906 to World War II, and the Nordic Council Literature Prize for his recent novel that takes place just before World War II. Writer Noémi Szécsi interviewed Westö at the Budapest Book Festival in April 2015.
There are only instants, got it? Instants, instants counted by telephone companies. You can’t let a single instant pass without saying yes. If you start thinking the whole thing’s damned. Nothing matters but that it should cost money. If you cost money, you exist.
...the man, while he was reading his essay, deliberately had his tie hang into the soup. His name was Miklós Erdély, and his gesture of having his tie hang into the soup was a forbidden form of artistic expression in Hungary at that time.