György Dragomán, author of The White King, an internationally acclaimed novel on childhood in Ceauşescu's Romania, represents contemporary Hungarian literature at the New York festival.
György Dragomán (b. 1973), whose name evokes the dragomans or translators of the Ottoman Empire and the broader Middle East, is himself no stranger to crossing borders and bridging divides. The New Literature from Europe festival’s 10-year anniversary celebration takes readers on the road with 9 writers from different European countries whose writing blurs national boundaries. Participants include Ilija Trojanow (Germany), Jáchym Topol (Czech Republic) and Laurent Binet (France). The festival runs from Thursday, November 14 through Saturday, November 16, 2013.
The highlight of the festival is a 'cab chat' with one of the NLE 2013 visiting authors. This mobile event takes spectators on five-minute round trips in groups of three, with the authors reading a short excerpt from their book in the original language and briefly chatting with the passengers.
György Dragomán is a novelist, author of short stories and translator who made a name for himself with his evocative, yet precise prose colored by his childhood experiences in totalitarian Romania where he was born as a member of the Hungarian minority in Târgu Mureş/Marosvásárhely. In 1988 his family settled in Hungary where he completed high school and went on to gain degrees in English and Philosophy. His novels and stories, however, frequently hark back to moods and situations preserved in his memory, and while Dragomán describes his work as not autobiographical, he acknowledges the key role of his experience in his fashioning of the dark, brooding literary universe in which his tales are set. His first novel, A pusztítás könyve [Genesis Undone] was published in 2002 to critical acclaim, earning him the Bródy Prize, awarded annually to the author of the most important breakthrough prose contribution. His second novel, The White King (A fehér király) brought international recognition and a score of awards both domestic and foreign. It also had the added bonus of speaking to audiences everywhere in the world, and was published in well over a dozen countries, including the US. Following the international editions of The White King, Dragomán quickly shot to literary fame, culminating—after over half a dozen awards and fellowships—in receiving the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature which ranks as the most significant Swiss literary acknowledgement for foreign authors. György Dragomán is currently engaged in finishing his third novel.
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