Gyorgy Konrad in Conversation - April 26, 2007

The Hungarian Cultural Center presents
DATE: April 26th, 2007, 7:30pm
PLACE: Hungarian Cultural Center, 447 Broadway, 5th Floor, NYC

Gyorgy Konrad will hold a reading and have a discussion about his new book published in English, 'A Guest in My Own Country: A Hungarian Life". The evening will be moderated by Ivan Sanders. Actor Paul Hecht will read from the book.

A Guest in My Own Country recalls the life of one of Eastern Europe's most accomplished modern writers. Offering lively descriptions of both his private and public life in Budapest, New York, and Berlin, Konrad reflects on his survival during the final months of World War II and his role in the Hungarian Uprising, the notion of "internal emigration” the fate of many writers who, like Konrad, refused to leave the Eastern Bloc under socialism and other complexities of European identity. The scholar and critic Ivan Sanders has said, "Konrad's prose was never so luminous as in these moving yet clear-eyed and forthright recollections of his wartime childhood, his youth and early manhood under Communism, and of his life as a writer in the 'soft dictatorship' and after."

Gyorgy Konrad, a former president of International PEN and the Academy of Arts in Berlin, is the author of The Case Worker, and The Invisible Voice, among many other widely translated books.

Konrad was born in Debrecen into a Jewish family. He experienced the siege of the capital by the Russians and was nearly killed by Hungarian Nazis. Konrad's parents survived their imprisonment, but his father's shop was socialized in the late 1940s and they had to leave their house.

In 1956 Konrad participated in the Hungarian Uprising. He was a teacher at general gymnasium in Csepel for some time and from 1965 he was a sociologist at Budapest Institute of Urban planning. In 1973 he had a collision with the political system and lost his position. When Konrad was given permission to travel abroad, he became a frequent visitor to the West. In 1990 Konrad was elected president of International P.E.N., the first Central European to hold this position. He was appointed in 1997 President of the Art Academy in Berlin. Konrad has received several awards, including Herder-Prize (1984), European Essay Prize (1985), Maecenas Prize (1989), and Mans-Sperber Prize (1990).

Ivan Sanders is a translator and literary critic. He was born in Budapest and has lived in the United States since 1956. Presently Mr. Sanders is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University.

Paul Hecht's career has included theatre, television, film, and radio. Born in London Mr. Hecht was a founder of The Actors Company Theatre and was nominated for a Tony in 1968 for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
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