This year there are quite a number of books written by women on our Book Week top list: here we recommend two volumes of poems – by Zsuzsa Takács and Virág Erdős – and two novels – by Krisztina Tóth and Gabriella Nagy.
Virág Erdős: Ezt is el (This I Will Also)
Virág Erdős’s (1968) outspoken poems, written with sympathy for the downtrodden and indignation against social injustice, in a chirpy tone and silly rhymes reminiscent of children’s poems, have earned the poet great popularity in the last few years. Mixing classical Hungarian poetry with rap and slang, Erdős’s poems are just as hilarious as they are unsettling. (Magvető)
Krisztina Tóth: Akvárium ( Aquarium)
In the first novel of Krisztina Tóth (1967), an outstanding poet who has also written two excellent short story collections in the past few years (see our reviews here and here), all the characters are orphans, suffering from a lack of love, the only human condition they have ever known. Toiling away day after day, these people live in a confined, oppressive and transparent world where suppressed emotions burst out from time to time, changing their fate forever. Black humour and workaday catharsis. (Magvető)
Zsuzsa Takács: Tiltott nyelv ( Forbidden Language)
All the voices that make up the incredibly rich poetry of Zsuzsa Takács (1938) are sounded in this beautiful new volume. Homage to the masters, farewell to a dying relative, dream poems, confessions of Mother Teresa – lively faces and masks that never stiffen into death masks, written with a subtle sense of humour and irony that tend to mellow down the elegiac tone. (Magvető)
Gabriella Nagy: Üvegház (Glass House)
The second novel of Gabriella Nagy (1964), literary critic and editor at our sister site litera.hu, is a series of short stories, narrated by a woman trying to come to terms with the death of her parents. Struggling with memory, ever-changing and unreliable, she tries to make sense of deeds and emotions in order to construct a present, by piecing the splinters of the past together. (Palatinus)
And again, the ubiquitous protagonist of the 2013 Book Week in Budapest: the flood...
Photo by Judit Radnóti