When Ettie's husband dies, her daughter Iza insists that her mother give up the family house in the countryside and move to Budapest. Displaced from her community and her home, Ettie tries to find her place in this new life, but can't seem to get it right. She irritates the maid, hangs food outside the window because she mistrusts the fridge and, in her naivety and loneliness, invites a prostitute in for tea. Iza's Ballad is the story of a woman who loses her life's companion and a mother trying to get close to a daughter whom she has never truly known. It is about the meeting of the old-fashioned and the modern worlds and the beliefs we construct over a lifetime.
- Hardback | 336 pages
- 146 x 228 x 40mm | 519.99g
- 07 Aug 2014
- Vintage Publishing
- HARVILL SECKER
- London, United Kingdom
"[A] heartbreakingly beautiful novel… George Szirtes conveys both the sophistication and simplicity of Szabó’s narrative in a superb translation… Humble, wistful Ettie is a wonderful creation… Just as The Door won an immediate English-language following, Iza’s Ballad is bound to become one of the most loved books of the year… This publication of Iza’s Ballad, subtle and profound, is a cause for celebration"
"[A] heartbreakingly beautiful novel... George Szirtes conveys both the sophistication and simplicity of Szabo's narrative in a superb translation... Humble, wistful Ettie is a wonderful creation... Just as The Door won an immediate English-language following, Iza's Ballad is bound to become one of the most loved books of the year... This publication of Iza's Ballad, subtle and profound, is a cause for celebration" Irish Times "The writing has a lovely clarity and a relevance that is timeless" -- Kate Saunders The Times "Szabo nails with incisive clarity the painful dynamics between the two [central] characters... A perceptive study of family relationships, bereavement and old age, it is harrowingly beautiful" -- Juanita Coulson Lady "A ruthless exploration of the damage we inflict on one another in the name of love" Independent "Szabo...is a rare voice, and this novel about the death of tradition and hope is a marvel of empathy" -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times Books of the Year
About Magda Szabo
Magda Szabo was born in 1917 in Debrecen, Hungary. She began her literary career as a poet. In the 1950s she disappeared from the publishing scene for political reasons and made her living by teaching and translating from French and English. She began writing novels, and in 1978 was awarded the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious literary award in Hungary. Magda Szabo died in 2007.