Anewly translated novel from the great rediscovered Hungarian writer: a tautly suspenseful story of unrequited love and its still vivid consequences twenty years later.
What is it to be in love with a pathological liar and fantasist? Esther is, and has been for the more than two decades since Lajos disappeared from her life. Now all these years later, Lajos is returning, and the news brings both panic and excitement. While no longer young and thoroughly skeptical about Lajos, Esther still remembers how incredibly alive she felt when he was around. His presence bewitches everyone, and the greatest part of his charm—and his danger—lies in the deftness with which he wields that delicate power. Friends rally round protectively, but Lajos’s arrival begins a day of high theater that will leave Esther’s life dramatically changed again.
About the Author
SANDOR MARAI (pronounced SHAN-dor) was born in Kassa, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1900. He rose to fame as one of the leading literary novelists in Hungary in the 1930s. Profoundly antifascist, he survived WWII, but persecution by the Communists drove the his country in 1948, first to Italy and then to the United States. He committed suicide in San Diego in 1989. He is the author of a significant body of work, which Knopf is translating into English.
Laszlo Krasznahorkai was born in Gyula, Hungary, in 1954 and lives in the hills of Szentlaszlo, Hungary. He has written several novels and won numerous prizes, including Best Book of the Year in Germany in 1993 for The Melancholy of Resistance and the 2010 Brucke Berlin Prize for "Seiobo". His other books include "Animalinside", "Satantango", and "War and War".
“Márai is one of the greatmodern novelists, in the same league as Gabriel García Márquez.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“Spellbinding.... A passionate tale.... Deliciously portentous: the deceptions woven around these characters introduce a sharp sliver of danger.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Deeply psychological.... Vivid and gripping....Pristinely wrought and breathtakingly incisive.”
—Booklist (starred review)