Author's page

Biography

1970 (8th November) born in Budapest
1990-97 studies Philosophy, Anthropology and English at Budapest University (ELTE)
1997-1999 Chief Editor of Link Budapest, a bilingual Internet journal for short stories
1998-2005 Chief Editor of the World Literature Series of JAK and later Gondolat Publishers
2001 visiting scholar at New York University
2002 Ludwig Museum Budapest makes an interactive exhibition from his photos and designs
2003 Fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude

Major prizes:
Móricz Zsigmond Prize (1998)
The Prize of The Foreign Ministery of Germany
Book of the Year in the Ukraine (2004)


The Last Window Giraffe
1998

Zilahy spent the winter of 1996-97 in revolutionary and Carnevalesque Belgrade, demostrating, together with hundreds of thousands people, against the last Eastern European dictatorship that gave the pretext of his novel. Zilahy playfully adapts the framework of a well-known children's A to Z, whose title in the original was "Window Giraffe" from Ablak /window/ to Zsiráf /giraffe/, and looks at dictatorship with the fresh eyes of a child, and walking backwards in time, he tries to understand the era that coincided with his own childhood and vanished at the time he graduated from grammar school. The narrator-protagonist explains the events in Eastern Europe through dictionary entries, and keeps appearing himself. He compares humorously the laws of the regime and those of his childhood, and his photoes taken during the demonstrations with the pictures in the children's encyclopaedia. Péter Esterházy noted: "it's as if it was written by a journalist with a pen of a poet". Zilahy's novel depicts originally the mood of an era, and has become an international success. The Last Window Giraffe has been translated into 14 languages and has also been adapted to a multilingual new media CD-ROM, a radioplay and an E-book. Zilahy's pictures has been exhibited in many European countries.

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