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Publish Date: February 2013
BY Tamas Dobozy
In the fall of 1944, the Red Army encircled Budapest, surrounding tens of thousands of German and Hungarian troops, and nearly a million civilians. The ensuing months witnessed one of the most brutal sieges of World War II, with block-to-block guerilla warfare followed by widespread disease, starvation, and unspeakable atrocities.
Richly grounded in this historical trauma and its extended aftermath, the stories in this fascinating collection alternate between the siege itself and a contemporary community of Hungarian émigrés who find refuge in the West. Illuminating the horror and absurdity of war with a wit and subtlety unique to fiction, Tamas Dobozy explores a world in which right and wrong are not easily distinguished, and a gruesome past manifests itself in perplexing, often comical ways.
BEYOND THE BOOK
• In this interview, Dobozy talks about gallows humor, inside-out epiphanies, and conveying collective trauma through narrative.
• According to Dobozy, Siege 13 explores “history in ruins.” Read his essay on writing the writing of history.
• Watch the book video for Siege 13 below.
“Like Nabokov, Dobozy combines the best elements of European and American storytelling, creating a fictional world of his own.”
—David Albahari, author of Götz and Meyer
“Alice Munro...Isaac Babel...Those comparisons may sound daunting, but Dobozy has mastered the technical conventions of his craft.... This vivid rendering of Hungarian history as a nightmare from which no one quite wants to awake is Dobozy’s finest achievement.”—New York Times Book Review
“The sheer variety of Dobozy’s approaches to telling stories, and his commitment not only to provoke thought but to entertain, constitute a virtuoso performance.”
“Dobozy makes these artfully stratified vignettes engrossing intellectual puzzles any historically minded reader will thrill to wrestle with.”
”These are stories worth telling, and Dobozy is a gifted storyteller in his elegant plotting and touches of surrealism.”
“Colorful and rich in detail and full of life.”