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Embersby Sandor Marai
Synopses & Reviews
The rediscovery of a masterpiece of Central European literature originally published in Budapest in 1942 and unknown to modern readers until last year. An extraordinary novel about a triangular relationship, about love, friendship, and fidelity, about betrayal, pride, and true nobility.
In a castle at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, an old aristocrat waits to greet the friend he has not seen for forty-one years. In the course of this one night, from dinner until dawn, the two men will fight a duel of words and silences, of stories, of accusations and evasions, that will encompass their entire lives and that of a third person, missing from the candlelit dining hall the now dead chatelaine of the castle. The last time the three of them sat together was in this room, after a stag hunt in the forest. The year was 1900. No game was shot that day, but the reverberations were cataclysmic. And the time of reckoning has finally arrived.
Already a great international best-seller, Embers is a magnificent addition to world literature in the English language.
"This 1942 novel by a forgotten Hungarian novelist, rediscovered and lucidly and beautifully translated, is a brilliant and engrossing tapestry of friendship and betrayal, set against a backdrop of prewar splendor....Marai eloquently explores the tight and twisted bonds of friendship." Publishers Weekly
"Questions of honor, truth, and friendship are entertained here, and though the novel inevitably has an old-fashioned feel, the questions it raises are timeless." Library Journal
"Márai is in the almost unique position of having attained posthumous best-sellerdom (in country after country) because he distills plot and description to a magic essence of atmosphere, empathy and narrative tension that no European writer has achieved since Joseph Roth." Berthier Zeitung
"A novel that pares all superfluous detail away from plot and character to achieve maximum tension. Hemingway goes Habsburg!" Stadtzeitung Wien
"A literary master lays bare the essentials what is truth, what are the questions we ask, what is the meaning of life itself and lets them explode into action. His philosophy is profound but hardly leaves a footprint and is virtuoso in its clear-sighted precision. This novel is a literary rediscovery of the first rank." Hamburger Abendblatt
About the Author
Sándor Márai was born in Kassa, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1900. He rose to fame as one of the leading literary novelists in Hungary in the 1930s. Profoundly antifascist, he survived World War II, but persecution by the Communists drove him from the country in 1948, first to Italy and then to the United States. Márai committed suicide in San Diego in 1989. He is the author of a significant body of work, which Knopf is translating into English.
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