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How They Lived
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How They Lived
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Skylark

Dezsö Kosztolányi
Translated by Richard Aczel

With an introduction by Péter Esterházy

A masterpiece of twentieth-century Hungarian fiction, Kosztolányi's Skylark is a classic portrait of provincial life in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Set in the autumn of 1899, it focuses on one extraordinary week in the otherwise uneventful lives of an elderly Hungarian couple. Their ugly spinster daughter, nicknamed Skylark, has left them for an unprecedented holiday with relatives in the country. At first, the couple, whose entire existence revolves around their daughter, are devastated by her absence. Slowly, however, they rediscover the delights and diversions of small-town life, finally reaching the shocking conclusion that their daughter is a burden to them.

In this beautifully written tale Kosztolányi turns family sentiment on its head with an irony that is as telling now as it was nearly seventy years ago.


"The most original, economical, and painful novel I have read in a long time." - The Times

"This is an unusually fine short novel which conveys the spirit of life in small town Hungary at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. If you are unsure where to start with Kosztolányi, I would read Skylark first and then move on to Anna Édes or his short fiction"- Amazon (extract from a reader's online review)

1993
245 pages
ISBN 978-963-9116-66-5 paperback $17.95 / €13.95 / £11.99

Published in the series:
Central European Classics / CEU Press Classics
ISSN 1418-0162

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