"...on sleek black roller skates and carrying a thick, leather-bound book, was King Matthias. He, too, wore a Burger King crown, over a thick red wig that reached his shoulders. (...) Why, I wondered, was the king, who was supposed to be incognito amongst the peasants, wearing a crown?"
These urban intellectual women had lost their livelihoods and their positions in the wake of the 1956 Revolution or in the Rákosi era: jobless, they sit around drinking coffee, sipping cheap cognac, smoking working men’s cigarettes and finding comfort in each other’s beds. Escaping from their unheated bed-sitters, they while away the time in cheap bistros pondering whether to kill themselves or escape to the West.
"The tram came to a stop and I flung what was left of my Multi on the tracks opposite. To hell with Germanic tidiness; I was glad to live in Hungary, where, even if the day-to-day struggle for cash was all-consuming, at least I was free to compensate with such a cynical gesture knowing that others couldn’t care less, and that if they did care, most likely they were on my side; for we were all in the same creaky, splintered wooden boat." – Adventures of a New Jersey-born Hungarian American in post-socialist Hungary.
Once a year, the Goethe Institute awards the Goethe Medal to foreign personalities whose works have substantially contributed to international cultural dialogue. This year, Dezso Tandori, one of the most versatile and experimental figures of Hungarian literature will receive the medal for his contribution to German-Hungarian literary dialogue.
Tamás Jónás' poems lead us into a merciless world. There is no resting place: even in the midst of a family idyll, the individual is not allowed a moment of respite. He continually has to answer for some sin that he either has or has not committed, or call on others to answer for the sins they have committed against him.
A middle-aged husband unable to provide for his wife and mother-in-law after the local meat-packing plant closed down decides to commit suicide. An infotainment show host arrives to sign a contract whereby he will do it live on television.
Leg of the Frozen Dog, published in 2006, is a collection of short stories written during the last ten years by Lajos Parti Nagy, an outstanding member of the Hungarian middle generation of authors, who is widely considered to be the number one master of "artistic language distortion."
An old lady whose husband has just died of cancer leaves her hometown to join her daughter, a doctor living in the capital. How the initial relief at not having to live the rest of her life alone, forgotten, dutiless, but as a help to her only child soon turns into bewilderment, then apathy, and finally to death – this is the topic of Magda Szabó's 1963 novel, originally titled Pilátus (Pilate), now published in Italian under the title La ballata di Iza (Iza's Ballad, published by Einaudi).