11. 27. 2009. 11:18

Working in Einstein's house

Péter Zilahy: a guest in Berlin

Living and working in Albert Einstein's former Berlin residence, Péter Zilahy is writing about the architectural dimensions of the German capital. This year's Albert Einstein Scholarship recipient said he would be writing essays in the autumn, then carrying on his novel which he plans to finish sometime next year.

The scholarship was founded by the Einstein Forum to uphold the idea of the eponym to allow researchers to put themselves to the test in areas other than their field, and thereby enrich scientific thinking with the ideas they gain. Péter Zilahy is the first literary author the scholarship was awarded to.
Several non-literary essays by Zilahy have lately been published in German magazines. His story written in English and entitled "Why communism was all Greek to me" came out in The Financial Times, and his article on the Bosnian war criminal Radovan Karadžic was recently published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The renowned German daily had also reported on Péter Zilahy's feature performance on the popular New York literary show Moth.
Péter Zilahy's novel The Last Window Giraffe has been awarded several Hungarian and international prizes and is now available in 22 languages, most recently in Turkish and Malay translation too. Another of his books, entitled Drei, a genre-crossing work written at the request of Akademie Solitude, made its 2003 appearance in German. His latest publication is a German-language drama piece called Der lange Weg nach nebenan and had its debut performance at the Berlin Volksbühne last May. It has since been performed in Weimar, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Münich, Salzburg and Düsseldorf too, and is currently being staged in Vienna.
Zilahy first arrived in Berlin in September 2006, and since then he's been dividing his time between Germany and Hungary. "I don't consider myself an immigrant, I'm just a guest here", he observed.
His work as a writer still leaves room for soccer. Péter Zilahy is captain of the Hungarian Authors' Team, and goal king of last year's Vienna World Championship. He is practising his kicks in Germany in preparation for the Ruhr-area World Championship held in Unna from late April to early May, with several related cultural programmes.
(Photo: Sárosi – Glamour)
The Last Window Giraffe is now available at Bookline and Libri in Budapest.

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