Other books byImre Kertesz
The first and only memoir from the Nobel Prize–winning author, in the form of an illuminating, often funny, and often combative interview—with himself Dossier K. is Imre Kertész’s response to the hasty biographies and profiles that followed his 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature—an attempt to set the record straight. The result is an extraordinary self-portrait, in which Kertész interrogates himself about the course of his own remarkable life, moving from memories of his childhood in Budapest, his imprisonment in Nazi death camps and the forged record that saved his life, his experiences as a censored journalist in postwar Hungary under successive totalitarian communist regimes, and his eventual turn to fiction, culminating in the novels—such as Fatelessness, Fiasco, and Kaddish for an Unborn Child—that have established him as one of the most powerful, unsentimental, and imaginatively daring writers of our time. In this wide-ranging and provocative book, Kertész continues to delve into the questions that have long occupied him: the legacy of the Holocaust, the distinctions drawn between fiction and reality, and what he calls “that wonderful burden of being responsible for oneself.”
Imre Kert?sz’s savagely lyrical and suspenseful new novel traces the continuing echoes the Holocaust and communism in the consciousness of contemporary Eastern Europe. Ten years after the fall of communism, a writer named B. commits suicide, devastating his circle and deeply puzzling his friend Kingsbitter. For among B.’s effects, Kingsbitter finds a play that eerily predicts events after his death. Why did B.–who was born at Auschwitz and miraculously survived–take his life? As Kingsbitter searches for the answer –and for the novel he is convinced lies hidden among his friend’s papers–Liquidation becomes an inquest into the deeply compromised inner life of a generation. The result is moving, revelatory and haunting.
From Nobel Laureate Imre Kertész comes this riveting novel about a torturer for the secret police of a Latin American regime who tells the haunting story of the father and son he ensnared and destroyed. Now in prison, Antonio Martens is a torturer for a recently defunct dictatorship. He requests and is given writing materials in his cell, using them to narrate his involvement in the torture and assassination of a wealthy and prominent man and his son whose principled but passive opposition to the regime left them vulnerable to the secret police. Inside Martens's mind, we inhabit the rationalizing world of evil and see firsthand the inherent danger of inertia during times of crisis. A slim, explosive novel of justice railroaded by malevolence, Detective Story is a warning cry for our time.
Translated into English at last, Fiasco joins its companion volumes Fatelessness and Kaddish for an Unborn Child in telling an epic story of the author's return from the Nazi death camps, only to find his country taken over by another totalitarian government. Fiasco as Imre Kertesz himself has said, "is fiction founded on reality"—a Kafka-like account that is surprisingly funny in its unrelentingly pessimistic clarity, of the Communist takeover of his homeland. Forced into the army and assigned to escort military prisoners, the protagonist decides to feign insanity to be released from duty. But meanwhile, life under the new regime is portrayed almost as an uninterrupted continuation of life in the Nazi concentration camps-which, in turn, is depicted as a continuation of the patriarchal dictatorship of joyless childhood. It is, in short, a searing extension of Kertesz' fundamental theme: the totalitarian experience seen as trauma not only for an individual but for the whole civilization—ours—that made Auschwitz possible.