07. 11. 2015. 20:39

Fever at Dawn by Péter Gárdos a huge success

When renowned film director Péter Gárdos wrote the story, he intended it as a film script, but eventually he made it into a novel. “Fever at Dawn,” the love story of two Holocaust survivors―the author’s parents―has ever since sold in more than 20 territories.

The book was one of the most sought after books of the London Book Fair. Fever at Dawn is a fictionalized account of the true story of how Gárdos's parents, Lili and Miklós, met in 1945. At the time, he was in a refugee camp in Sweden, and was ill. Presuming he had only months to live, Miklós wrote letters to the 117 Hungarian women who were also in local refugee camps, in the hopes that one of them would become his wife. Lili, in another camp miles away, responded to the letter; months later the pair found a way to meet.

Jane Lawson of Doubleday compared Fever at Dawn with the iconic film Life Is Beautiful, both being “exquisite tales of love outwitting death.”

Ádám Halmos of the Hungarian publisher Libri is extremely proud that the world has discovered this hidden gem of Hungarian literature. In August 1998, three days after his father Miklós's death, his mother gave Péter Gárdos a pack of letters, written in the months after the Holocaust, which revealed his parents' astonishing love story. Peter read the letters in a single night but it took him more than 10 years to write his novel based on this deeply personal story, Halmos said.

Doubleday has UK and Commonwealth rights, while Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish the book in the US. Gárdos is directing a film version of the story, scheduled to be released this year, at one of the major film festivals.

Doubleday will publish the book in early 2016.

Tags: Péter Gárdos