Author's page

Biography

1943 born in Budapest
1964-68 member of the Hungarian Socialist Labour Party
1969 studies history at the Moscow University
1967 museologist in the Working Class Movement Museum
1968 arrested for political reasons, banned from publication
1970 member of the Hungarian opposition
1979 first book published in Germany
1984-86 DAAD stipend in Berlin, researcher at the University of Bremen
1987-95 lives in Vienna, works for Hungarian and German newspapers and radio
1992 member of the Board of the Heinrich Böll Foundation
1995 director of the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Berlin

Prizes
1990 Prize of the Magvető Publishing House, 1995 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize

The Circumscision
1990

A writer in Der Giessener Anzeiger noted: "Wisdom and humour against the shadows of existence: Dalos, like Isaac B. Singer, is a follower of the great Yiddish literary traditions." The hero of The Circumcision is Robi Singer, a twelve-year-old Jewish half-orphan boy longing for love and recognition. The story is set in the years of Stalinism in Budapest, depicting the vanishing world of the Hungarian Jewish petite burgeoisie, told in a voice of irony, melancholy, humour and sorrow. The memorable characters (Robi's neurotic mother, his dominating grandmother, the boys in the orphanage, the family friends), the central problem of the book (the circumcision the boy must be exposed to but fears), the detailed description of the everyday life of Robi's family, and the boy's meditations on history, identity and sexuality make the book an unforgettable, unique experience. Although the story is set in 1955-56, psychological realism, not politics, is at its core, the viewpoint of the hopeful and sensitive little boy is dominant.

Guest from the Future
1998

Guest from the Future. Anna Ahmatova and Sir Isaiah Berlin: A Love Story In 1946 Isaiah Berlin, the First Secretary of the British Embassy, pays a visit to the Russian poet Anna Ahmatova in the Fontannii Dom in Leningrad, and during a long night's talk they are touched not only by their spiritual and intellectual closeness but love as well. As a consequence, Ahmatova is expelled from the Russian Writers Union. They must wait until 1965 to meet again, when Berlin, as a leader of the College in Oxford, invites Ahmatova to receive an honorary degree. The book is a reconstruction of their story, especially that of the decisive nocturnal conversation in 1946.

Az istenkereső
1999

Dalos dedicated this book to the memory of his father, Andor Deutsch (1906-1945); the story tells us about a young boy whose father is depressed, desperately lonely and sad, after returning from the concentration camps. By chance the talents of the boy (Gábor Kolozs) are discovered, and a fight begins for his soul between a God-fearing teacher and the Communist director of his school. The reader receives a detailed account of life in the post-Revolution 1950s (the story is set in the years 1959-60). After a drawn-out battle of ideas and ideals Gábor Kolozs decides to become a Communist, almost killing his father. The story ends with the boy's vision: God, whom he had been seeking in vain for years, now appears to him in the body of his father.

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