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One must also be Hungarian [electronic resource] /
Adam Biro ; translated by Catherine Tihanyi.
edition
[English ed.].
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago, 2006.
description
xvii, 168 p. : ill., ports. ; 21 cm.
ISBN
0226052125 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780226052120 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
author
added author
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago, 2006.
isbn
0226052125 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780226052120 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Originally published in 2000 as Les Ancêtres d'Ulysses.
Translated from the French.
catalogue key
11577451
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
The only country in the world with a line in its national anthem as desperate as "this people has already suffered for its pastandits future," Hungary is a nation defined by poverty, despair, and conflict, but also by creativity and artistic genius. Its history, and especially the history of Hungarian Jews, took of course, an even darker and more tragic turn during World War II and the Holocaust. But the story of the Jews in Hungary is also one of survival, heroism, and even humorand that is what acclaimed author Adam Biro sets out to recover inOne Must Also Be Hungarian, an inspiring and altogether poignant look back at the lives of his family members over the past two hundred years. A Hungarian refugee and now publisher and novelist working in Paris, Biro recognizes the enormous sacrifices that his ancestors made to pave his way in life in postwar Europe. Inspired to share the story of his family members with his grandson, Biro draws some moving pictures of them here: witty and whimsical vignettes that convey not only their courage, but also their inner fear, anger, jealousy, and weaknesstraits that lend an indelible humanity to their portraiture. Spanning the turn of the nineteenth century, two destructive world wars, the dramatic rise of Communism, and its equally astonishing fall, the stories here convey a particularly Jewish sense of humor and irony throughoutone that made possible their survival amid such enormous adversity possible. Already published to great acclaim in France,One Must Also Be Hungarianis a wry and compulsively readable book that rescues from oblivion the stories of a remarkable and deservedly proud people.
Flap Copy
The only country in the world with a line in its national anthem as desperate as "this people has already suffered for its past and its future," Hungary is a nation defined by poverty, despair, and conflict, but also by creativity and artistic genius. Its history, and especially the history of Hungarian Jews, took of course, an even darker and more tragic turn during World War II and the Holocaust. But the story of the Jews in Hungary is also one of survival, heroism, and even humorand that is what acclaimed author Adam Biro sets out to recover in One Must Also Be Hungarian , an inspiring and altogether poignant look back at the lives of his family members over the past two hundred years. A Hungarian refugee and now publisher and novelist working in Paris, Biro recognizes the enormous sacrifices that his ancestors made to pave his way in life in postwar Europe. Inspired to share the story of his family members with his grandson, Biro draws some moving pictures of them here: witty and whimsical vignettes that convey not only their courage, but also their inner fear, anger, jealousy, and weaknesstraits that lend an indelible humanity to their portraiture. Spanning the turn of the nineteenth century, two destructive world wars, the dramatic rise of Communism, and its equally astonishing fall, the stories here convey a particularly Jewish sense of humor and irony throughoutone that made possible their survival amid such enormous adversity possible. Already published to great acclaim in France, One Must Also Be Hungarian is a wry and compulsively readable book that rescues from oblivion the stories of a remarkable and deservedly proud people.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A moving evocation and exploration of a Jewish family's history extending over several generations."-- New York Sun
"A moving evocation and exploration of a Jewish family's history extending over several generations."--New York Sun
"Intense and stirring . . . a superb reverie on a vanished world, in a somewhat Nabokovian vein. . . . Readers who enjoy a good, righteous weep really can't go wrong with Biro. This is a deeply moving book. Biro is writing, after all, about the most weepy of all subjects: lost childhood, lost innocence." -- Bookforum
"Intense and stirring . . . a superb reverie on a vanished world, in a somewhat Nabokovian vein. . . . Readers who enjoy a good, righteous weep really can't go wrong with Biro. This is a deeply moving book. Biro is writing, after all, about the most weepy of all subjects: lost childhood, lost innocence."-- Bookforum
"Inventiveness bursts from every page of [this book], in which, in a Central Europe finally devastated by the Shoah, then later by Stalinist dictatorship, Biro traces the history of his family over several generations. . . . 'I am the last one,' he observes, 'to have known that by-gone world,' that other side of Europe 'mysterious and mythic.' The disappearance from view of this 'over there,' from which in spite of everything, one is so proud to have come, and which nevertheless has been enlisted in the rat race for money, upsets him. . . . This Europe, 'which makes unions and makes euros' will never be completely his. Even if Adam Biro gives it a soul again."--Le Monde
"Inventiveness bursts from every page of [this book], in which, in a Central Europe finally devastated by the Shoah, then later by Stalinist dictatorship, Biro traces the history of his family over several generations. . . . 'I am the last one,' he observes, 'to have known that by-gone world,' that other side of Europe 'mysterious and mythic.' The disappearance from view of this 'over there,' from which in spite of everything, one is so proud to have come, and which nevertheless has been enlisted in the rat race for money, upsets him. . . . This Europe, 'which makes unions and makes euros' will never be completely his. Even if Adam Biro gives it a soul again."-- Le Monde
"Ironic, vehement at times, sober in the face of tragedy, playful in its digressions, lively in moments of grace and tenderness, this book is no dry chronicle. Adam Biro's ancestors in all their exuberance and sadness swirl around in a heady atmosphere like fragments of a vanished past. Scenery, sounds, colors, accentsthe final echoes of a past that has become, for Adam Biro, a 'foreign country.'"--Livres Hebdo
"Ironic, vehement at times, sober in the face of tragedy, playful in its digressions, lively in moments of grace and tenderness, this book is no dry chronicle. Adam Biro's ancestors in all their exuberance and sadness swirl around in a heady atmosphere like fragments of a vanished past. Scenery, sounds, colors, accentsthe final echoes of a past that has become, for Adam Biro, a 'foreign country.'"-- Livres Hebdo
"The book, elegiac yet witty, gains in complexity as Biro grapples with the fact that his ancestors were not only Hungarian, but also Jewish. . . . Throughout this mournful and evocative book, this emigre son, who left Hungary when he was fifteen, tries to come to grips with why his unhappy heritage continues to have such a hold on him."Forward
"The book, elegiac yet witty, gains in complexity as Biro grapples with the fact that his ancestors were not only Hungarian, but also Jewish. . . . Throughout this mournful and evocative book, this emigre son, who left Hungary when he was fifteen, tries to come to grips with why his unhappy heritage continues to have such a hold on him."Gabriel Sanders, Forward
"The book, elegiac yet witty, gains in complexity as Biro grapples with the fact that his ancestors were not only Hungarian, but also Jewish. . . . Throughout this mournful and evocative book, this emigre son, who left Hungary when he was fifteen, tries to come to grips with why his unhappy heritage continues to have such a hold on him."Gabriel Sanders,Forward
"The book, elegiac yet witty, gains in complexity as Biro grapples with the fact that his ancestors were not only Hungarian, but also Jewish. . . . Throughout this mournful and evocative book, this émigré son, who left Hungary when he was fifteen, tries to come to grips with why his unhappy heritage continues to have such a hold on him."
"The book, elegiac yet witty, gains in complexity as Biro grapples with the fact that his ancestors were not only Hungarian, but also Jewish. . . . Throughout this mournful and evocative book, this �migr� son, who left Hungary when he was fifteen, tries to come to grips with why his unhappy heritage continues to have such a hold on him."- Forward
This item was reviewed in:
Boston Globe, September 2006
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Hungary is a nation defined by poverty, despair and conflict. Its history took an especially dark and tragic turn during the Holocaust. But the story of the Jews in Hungary is also one of survival, heroism and even humour. Adam Biro takes a poignant look back at the lives of his family members over 200 years.
Main Description
The only country in the world with a line in its national anthem as desperate as "this people has already suffered for its past and its future," Hungary is a nation defined by poverty, despair, and conflict. Its history, of course, took an even darker and more tragic turn during the Holocaust. But the story of the Jews in Hungary is also one of survival, heroism, and even humorand that is the one acclaimed author Adam Biro sets out to recover in One Must Also Be Hungarian , an inspiring and altogether poignant look back at the lives of his family members over the past two hundred years. A Hungarian refugee and celebrated novelist working in Paris, Biro recognizes the enormous sacrifices that his ancestors made to pave the way for his successes and the envious position he occupies as a writer in postwar Europe. Inspired, therefore, to share the story of his family members with his grandson, Biro draws some moving pictures of them here: witty and whimsical vignettes that convey not only their courageous sides, but also their inner fears, angers, jealousies, and weaknessestraits that lend an indelible humanity to their portraiture. Spanning the turn of the nineteenth century, two destructive world wars, the dramatic rise of communism, and its equally astonishing fall, the stories here convey a particularly Jewish sense of humor and irony throughoutone that made possible their survival amid such enormous adversity possible. Already published to much acclaim in France, One Must Also Be Hungarian is a wry and compulsively readable book that rescues from oblivion the stories of a long-suffering but likewise remarkable and deservedly proud people.
Table of Contents
Translator's Note and Acknowledgments
Introduction to the English Editionp. 1
Finkelstein Ábrahámp. 2
Finkelstein Jenöp. 3
Perlmutter Blankap. 4
Bíró Mariskap. 5
Bíró Márkp. 6
Uncles Eugene and Ernestp. 7
Józsip. 8
Nándorp. 9
Annip. 10
Anyup. 11
Apu
Genealogy
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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