"I wanted to know who, why and how was involved in ruining the first half of my life." - Poet Zsófia Balla moved from Romania to Hungary shortly after the regime change in 1989. We asked her about her decision to request the surveillance file by the Romanian Secret Service (the Securitate) targeting her during communism.
Sándor Jászberényi has worked as a correspondent in conflict zones for Hungarian newspapers for many years. His first collection of short stories, The Devil is a Black Dog (2013), is based on his experiences as a journalist in the Middle East.
Dutch writer-journalist Toine Heijmans was the guest of Café Amsterdam Festival in Budapest. Orsolya Réthelyi talked to the writer about his first novel, "On the Sea," that has been awarded the prestigious French prize, Prix Médicis étranger.
If you create a completely authentic character, we will believe everything you say. And this is precisely what Árpád Kun, a Hungarian writer based in Norway, has done in his new novel. "Happy North" is the story of Aimé Billion, a descendant of voodoo sorcerers who emigrates to the Norwegian Fjordland.
Café Amsterdam, an international Dutch festival, will be held in Budapest for the first time this year, between 29-31 May. We talked to Mireille Berman of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the organizer of the festival that will feature Dutch, Hungarian, British and American artists.
"When I had the Ottoman army lay waste to the Catholic conclave in Sicily, I had the sense that I was hitting with my own hands at the naïve masses who had hallucinated moral modesty into the taste impotence of my female acquaintance."— Excerpt from the first ever English translation of "Prae", forthcoming from Contra Mundum Press.
A terrible throne. It hovers above / the vortex of a pillar of fire. / Instead of seraphs and griffins, small figures / bustle below, their bones aglow. / Their brittle arms: a blighted forest / of flapping wings or flailing rods / gesticulating, lost in space / amidst the silent spokes of light.
Published last year in English in Tim Wilkinson's translation, László Fábián’s experimentalist 1976 novel mirrors the pantheistic world of a highly sensitive child gradually maturing into an artist, who identifies with the great explorer, Roald Amundsen.
"I toyed with an idea that I – as a decent Christian – never entertained before: what if the central signifier of all the metaphors and concepts of Christianity was not a beautiful, young, healthy but tortured male body... but a female body." - An interview from 2011 with the recently deceased poet, Szilárd Borbély.