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The Book of Mordechai and Lazarus

Two Novels

The Book of Mordechai and Lazarus are the first and the second novels by Hungarian writer Gábor Schein. Published together in one volume, they comprise the first in Seagull Books’s new Hungarian List series.

Both novels trace the legacy of the Holocaust in Hungary. The Book of Mordechai tells the story of three generations in a Hungarian Jewish family, interwoven with the biblical narrative of Esther. Lazarus relates the relationship between a son, growing up in the in the final decades of late-communist Hungary, and his father, who survived the depredations of Hungarian fascists during World War II. Mordechai is an act of recovery—an attempt to seize a coherent story from a historical maelstrom. By contrast, Lazarus, like Kafka’s unsent letter to his own father, is an act of defiance. Against his father’s wish to never be the subject of his son’s writing, the narrator places his father at the center of his story. Together, both novels speak to a contemporary Hungarian society that remains all too silent towards the crimes of the past.

232 pages | 5 x 8 | © 2017

Fiction


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Reviews

"The late twentieth century has cast a long shadow and, as the generation who lived through it are reaching old age and leaving us to reckon with a world where the far right are again up to no good – particularly but not solely in Hungary – thoughtful reflections such as The Book of Mordechai and Lazarus are needed more than ever."

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