Spanish publishing house Acantilado has been the first international publisher to acquire translation rights of the new novel by one of the most acclaimed and successful contemporary Hungarian writers, György Spiró.
The deal was made on behalf of Magveto Publishing House (Hungary).
“It’s not a bad idea for a man to get admitted to hospital a couple of days before a revolution breaks out, stay in until it’s been quashed and recuperate quietly at home during the ensuing purge.” These are the opening lines of György Spiró’s latest novel, Spring Collection, that presents the reader with a shocking picture of the 56 Hungarian Revolution.
The main protagonist is an engineer by the name of Gyula Fátray who, like so many other qualified professionals at that time, is trying to get along first as a simple worker before the Second World War, and after it as a communist party member, an idealist, and leader of planning in a newly founded factory. Just days before mass protests begin in October, he is admitted to hospital for for surgery. He returns home after the fighting to be faced by a Soviet-occupied Budapest.
This novel commemorates the unbearably absurd machinations of the dictatorial regime in which not even those innocent could feel safe. When Gyula’s name appears in a newspaper article alongside some conspirators against the state, he finds himself ostracised by his best friends and closest colleagues virtually overnight. It no longer seems to matter that he was in hospital for the duration of the revolution and that the charges are false. Just as in Kafka’s Trial, history marches mercilessly towards an excruciating outcome.
Gyula’s situation is made all the more difficult by the fact that his wife, Kati, a tough communist, seems not to understand a thing because she is so wrapped up in herself and her role in organising an art installation known as the Spring Collection. The novel recalls the purges that came after 56 with touching authenticity.
György Spiró was born in 1946 in Budapest. He is a writer, a dramatist, a translator and scholar of Polish literature. He is one of the most frequently played contemporary playwrights of Hungary.