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.
Introduction by Péter Esterházy