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The Book of Mordechai and Lazarus

by Schein, Gabor hardback, 232 pages
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  9780857424419 
Seagull Books London Ltd 
27/07/2017 
United Kingdom 

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The Book of Mordechai and Lazarus are the first and the second novels by Hungarian writer Gabor Schein. Published together in one volume, they comprise the first in Seagull Books's new Hungarian List series. Both novels trace the legacy of the Holocaust in Hungary. The Book of Mordechai tells the story of three generations in a Hungarian Jewish family, interwoven with the biblical narrative of Esther. Lazarus relates the relationship between a son, growing up in the in the final decades of late-communist Hungary, and his father, who survived the depredations of Hungarian fascists during the Second World War. Mordechai is an act of recovery an attempt to seize a coherent story from a historical maelstrom. By contrast, Lazarus, like Kafka's unsent letter to his own father, is an act of defiance. Against his father's wish to never be the subject of his son's writing, the narrator goes on to place his father at the center of his story. Together, both novels speak to a contemporary Hungarian society which remains all too silent towards the crimes of the past.

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