There are amazing pieces of Hungarian literature, some of which are still unknown to the world because of the language barrier. However, whenever books get translated and are available all over the world, it occasionally happens that world-famous people fall in love with the stories and help them reach more and more people through their recommendations.
Eva Boros – The Mermaids
Even though Marilyn Monroe was an actress who often played the role of a silly blonde woman, she was actually very much interested in reading and expanding her mind. Her library included around 400 books, among which there was one by a Hungarian author: Eva Boros’s The Mermaids. The book was published in 1956 overseas, and it is set in Budapest. However, it seems like a rather obscure choice, as it does not belong to Hungarian classics, and barely anything can be found about it on the internet. However, according to a Time review,
the book’s “dramatic peak does not fall behind that of the last act of The Lady with the Camellias, and even though it may not be The Magic Mountain, it is the next book in line when it comes to stories about tuberculosis patients.”
So, maybe Marilyn Monroe knew something we did not, and we should also get a copy.
Magda Szabó – The Door
Magda Szabó is one of the most well-known Hungarian author abroad, whose books are more popular than Nobel Prize-winner Imre Kertész’s books, as hers have been translated to over 40 languages. Her biggest success was The Door, published in 1987. Le Figaro‘s critic said of the story that it is “A gem of Hungarian literature, it can only be compared to Flaubert and Proust.” Jeanne Moreau French actress claimed that if it was ever made into a movie, she would gladly play the role of Emerenc.
Another famous French actress, Sophie Marceau, admitted that “Magda Szabó is my favourite author. Ever since I discovered her, I pick up every single one of her books.”
The book was made into a movie in 2012, and although it does not star Jeanne Moreau, Helen Mirren is a part of it.
Péter Gárdos – Fever at Dawn
Fever at Dawn was a relatively recent sensation, as it was first published in 2010. In 2015, it received international attention, and various publishers from Australia, France, Germany, as well as the UK desperately wanted the rights to be able to publish it in their countries, too. It was the number one book at the 2015 London Book Fair, named the most important book to look out for by Publishers Weekly and Booktrade.
Based on the author’s parents’ experience, the book was made into a movie in 2016, directed by the author himself.
Source: Daily News Hungary