László Darvasi

Winter Morning - Short Stories

(German title: Wintermorgen)
ca. 348 pages
László Darvasi
Foto: László Darvasi
© Ekko von Schwichow

László Darvasi, born in 1962 in southern Hungary, has worked as a teacher and journalist. He came to prominence as a lyricist and published short works of prose and novellas. Darvasi, who lives in Szeged and Budapest is considered to be one of the greatest talents in Hungarian literature.

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Italy (Il Saggiatore), Bulgaria (Paradox), Serbia (Akademska Knjiga)

Aleksandar Tišma International Literary Prize 2019


An entire orchestra dies tragically during a bus accident; sole survivor is the drummer, who sets about carrying out their task single-handedly: releasing patients of a psychiatric hospital from their individual insanity through the collective experience of music. A girl stands by the window and observes a couple kissing on the street, holding in her hand the stone with which she is planning to strike them.

An accident to which its victims don’t react; cryptic events in whose centre an evil about to ambush resides; killing without knowing why: these are the sinister experiences around which the 27 short pieces of prose contained in this volume revolve. The normality in which we live appears as an island in a sea of hate, brutality and paranoia.

László Darvasi, explorer of the incomprehensible, has early on discovered the short story as the form in which his art of mystification and densification is expressed most strongly. His narrator unwaveringly examines the person whose wishes and acts he himself doesn’t understand. Darvasi’s creations seem enchanted, as though capable of committing the craziest, most beautiful act of love as well as the most horrific of crimes. It’s the eloquence of the author, his literally bottomless imagination, that forms texts, so enchanting in their conciseness and mesmerizing beauty, from the most absurd, most nightmarish scenarios.


»László Darvasi’s fiercely imaginative, gruesome-absurd narrative world gives you gooseflesh. (…) Great literature, masterfully translated by Heinrich Eisterer.« Ilma Rakusa, NZZ


»Hardly any other author writes more sensibly and clearly about Europe’s current crisis than Darvasi.« Nicole Henneberg, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


»Reading Darvasi is electrifying. You feel a tingling under your skin, at times you get shocks, but it’s impossible to put the book down.« Tobias Schwartz, taz. die tageszeitung


»The monsters are among us. We ourselves are these monsters. One more reason to read Darvasi.« DIE ZEIT


»In the short stories that make up Wintermorgen Darvasi is as timeless as he is contemporary, and he thematicizes the reality of his country in a radical and poetic way.« Erika Achermann, FOCUS


»Here the reader encounters a completely unique cosmos, and if they let themselves in, they will understand what truly great literature is.« Andreas Wirthensohn, Wiener Zeitung


»These short stories and frighteningly bleak, terribly comic and often tremendously touching – a completely singular literary cosmos […] Whoever lets themselves in will feel what truly great literature is.« A Wirthensohn, Passauer Neue Presse


»László Darvasi’s short stories are parable-like, poetic, at times terrifyingly brutal and then once again delicate and compassionate ... A collection as entertaining as it is profound.« NDR


»Darvasi’s art consists in being able to depict even grotesque situations in a completely natural and believable way – even when they tip over into the surreal or the fantastical.« Tabea Soergel, Deutschlandfunk


»It is truly unbelievable how poetically, brutally and heartrendingly László Darvasi writes about ‘what is, in that it is not’.« Ingrid Mylo, Badische Zeitung


»The Hungarian author’s 34 short stories are surreal, grotesque, cryptic and shine with brilliant language.« Heiko Buhr, lebensart 2/2017


Other publications

Blumenfresser/The Flower Eaters (2013)

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Spanish world rights (Sexto Piso), Netherlands (Wereldbibliotheek), Poland (Jagiellonian UP), Czech Republic (Dauphin), Bulgaria (Paradox)

Die Hundejäger von Lojang/The Dog Hunters of Lojang (2002)

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Netherlands (Wereldbibliotheek), Romania (Nemira)

Die Legende von den Tränengauklern/The Legend of the Tear Jugglers (1999)

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Italy (Il Saggiatore), Netherlands (Wereldbibliotheek), Czech Republic (Dauphin)