"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.
"If this was her fate, why rebel? It couldn’t get any better, only worse" – an excerpt from Hanele, a short novel about an ugly, miserable Jewish orphan girl in a pre-World War II shtetl. The book, rich in ethnographic detail and betraying strong empathy for the outcast, was written by the polymath writer and composer György Láng.
The next event in the Publishing Hungary programme, sponsored by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary, will be the Hungarian presence at the Leipzig Book Fair, one of the greatest literary events in Europe. The book fair will be held between 14 and 17 March, 2013.
Judit Kováts’s novel is written from the viewpoint of a 19-year-old girl during the Soviet occupation as she is trying to escape Russian soldiers, bombs and forced labour. How is oral history transformed into literature? – An interview with the author.
"For the truth is, my boy," he always told me, "is only the pawns matter, the major pieces are always the first to be exchanged." So that was my father's lesson to me. I of course disregarded his advice, and thereby demolished his reality, the imaginary one based on unwritten codes; usually using two knights, the occasional rook helping out from the background.
The last few years have been abundant in books specializing in understanding and interpreting the attributes and the behaviour of Hungarians. János Lackfi experiments with well-known elements that have been on the periodic table of Hungarians for decades, and tries to create a new and interesting compound.