Katalin Street

Katalin Street

Book - 2017
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WINNER OF THE 2018 PEN TRANSLATION PRIZE

From the author of The Door , selected as one of the New York Times "10 Best Books of 2015," this is a heartwrenching tale about a group of friends and lovers torn apart by the German occupation of Budapest during World War II.

In prewar Budapest three families live side by side on gracious Katalin Street, their lives closely intertwined. A game is played by the four children in which B#65533;lint, the promising son of the Major, invariably chooses Ir#65533;n Elekes, the headmaster's dutiful elder daughter, over her younger sister, the scatterbrained Blanka, and little Henriette Held, the daughter of the Jewish dentist.

Their lives are torn apart in 1944 by the German occupation, which only the Elekes family survives intact. The postwar regime relocates them to a cramped Soviet-style apartment and they struggle to come to terms with social and political change, personal loss, and unstated feelings of guilt over the deportation of the Held parents and the death of little Henriette, who had been left in their protection. But the girl survives in a miasmal afterlife, and reappears at key moments as a mute witness to the inescapable power of past events.

As in The Door and Iza's Ballad , Magda Szab#65533; conducts a clear-eyed investigation into the ways in which we inflict suffering on those we love. Katalin Street , which won the 2007 Prix C#65533;vennes for Best European novel, is a poignant, somber, at times harrowing book, but beautifully conceived and truly unforgettable.
Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, [2017]
ISBN: 9781681371528
1681371529
Branch Call Number: FIC SZABO
Characteristics: 235 pages ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Rix, L. B. (Len B.), - Translator

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laphampeak
Oct 03, 2017

Szabo has a way of bringing a weighted yet ethereal quality to her stories. After reading, "The Door" I looked forward to "Katalin Street". The three families from Katalin Street are intricately developed over time. They weave in and out of each others lives with a firm grounding in the period when they were all neighbors. A serious yet rewarding read.

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