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Edina Szvoren

Portrait of Edina Szvoren

Edina Szvoren est née en 1974 à Budapest. Ancienne élève de la haute école de musique Béla Bartók, elle y enseigne actuellement le solfège et la théorie musicale. Elle est titulaire d’un diplôme de chef de chœur de l'Académie de musique Franz Liszt. Elle a été publiée régulièrement depuis 2005, en ce compris deux œuvres de prose. Son travail a été couronné par les prix suivants : le prix Sándor Bródy du meilleur premier livre en prose de l’année en 2011, le Prix Artisjus et le prix Attila József.


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Winning Book

Nincs, és ne is legyen (traduction anglaise officielle, à paraître en 2022 : There Is None, Nor Let There Be)

Si les histoires d’Edina Szvoren sont imprégnées d'humour caustique, en même temps elles grésillent lorsqu'elles dévoilent le drame dans les détails des relations humaines. Lorsqu’ils décrivent le monde littéraire de Szvoren, les critiques ont évoqué le nom de deux prédécesseurs radicalement différents : Péter Nádas et sa prose analytique et le géant gracieux du grotesque, Péter Hajnóczy. Les histoires de « Nincs, és ne is legyen » convaincront le lecteur que Szvoren est une auteure mature avec une ligne de narration unique. La famille, à la fois centre et modèle de nos vies, se tient résolument au cœur des histoires, que nous nous battions sur cette scène ou que nous y jetions juste un regard depuis l'extérieur.

Book Cover of Nincs, és ne is legyen

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Translation Deals

  • Albania: Instituti i Dialogut Dhe Komunikimit (IDK)
  • Bulgaria: Lettera
  • Croatia: Naklada Ljevak
  • Czech: Bourdon
  • Ireland: Dalkey Archive Press (pending process)
  • Italy: Mimesis Edizioni SRL
  • Netherlands: De Geus
  • North Macedonia: Izdavacki Center
  • Poland: Książkowe Klimaty 
  • Serbia: Sezam Book
  • Turkey: Kalem


Translated by Tim Wilkinson


Good morning. Why should precisely seven days belong together, I think to myself. I do not like the way the names of the days are repeated every week. Time sometimes comes to a standstill and then there is a little interval. Not only do I not know what will come next, I don’t even know if there will be anything at all. I don’t think I’ll be a grown-up some day. One thing is for sure: I won’t be able to have any children. No one is going to want me to undress and have me look at his naked body. My transgressions cannot be confessed. If time drops out, there is no visible sign of it. At least my classmates do not notice it, though the letter handed on under the desks has stopped with me. Miss Emmy is smiling at me from under her grey polka dot headscarf, and even she does not notice that I am nowhere. All she sees is the letter. She takes it but does not read it the way other teachers do. Doesn’t even open it. Miss Emmy has widely separated eyes, a broad forehead, and round nose. Miss Emmy has it wrong: she thinks I am lovable; I have managed to fool her, and now I dream she is going to be disappointed. I have started a diary. Mother bought it for me as a name-day gift: I recorded that I am going to die. Mind you, I don’t even think that I was born. I am not yet fond of anyone so much as Miss Emmy – I’ll record that, too, straight off on the first page, in smaller letters. I am pleased that the pages of the diary are yellow, stiff, and rustle, like blueprints, documents, or the Gothic characters of the German letters kept in the drawers of Daddy’s desk. I would not be too pleased if the notebook had a shop smell about it. I don’t like new things. Good morning. What does it mean that the sun is shining? I can see its rays from my room. I have been accorded the grace of being able to see the sun even when I am lying in bed. Contrast that with people like the Majors, for example, who have moved into our garret flat. However they place their heads, all that can be seen from the attic is the slate roof and the leaky eaves. That was what was granted to them. All the same, it is obvious that we got up, not the sun.


I shall endeavour to live in a manner that befits a diary. I make Daddy’s bed, and for a forint I wash his socks. I don’t blag him, on account of which I got more the last time. It’s not that I’m badmouthing the Majors, but they really are lazy and pong a bit. The diary is green and hard-backed.

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