András Forgách


In this excerpt from the novel of the same name, a Hungarian-Israeli mother addresses her daughter in Europe in a letter she never sends. Her monologue, covering a span of several years, alternates between family news and reports of daily life in postwar Israel. Forgách brilliantly captures the complexity of her attitudes towards the new Jewish immigrants, with whom she sympathizes but to whom she feels, as prewar settler, socially superior. While she realizes the newcomers are victims of an experience too hellish for her to imagine, her distaste for the burgeoning Zionist movement confuses her moral sense. Meanwhile, her faith in Stalin and the “cause” has an absolutism that sits uncomfortably alongside her sentimentality. This excerpt, the first time this major Hungarian author has been published in English, has been translated by Tim Wilkinson.

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