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Omertà. Buch des Schweigens

Andrea Tompa │ Terézia Mora

Omertà. Buch des Schweigens, Photo: Silke Briel / HKW

Jury’s comment

Omertà by Andrea Tompa has been excellently translated from Hungarian into German by Terézia Mora. The novel focuses on the area around the city of Cluj-Napoca, a former Hungarian province. Through the example of four characters, geopolitical and ideological upheavals become clear in their self-evident and inescapable language. A book amid abrupt actions, Stalinist purges, silences and oral narrative tradition: progress and folklore. The combination of individual biography, vocal force and contemporary history, the intermingling of dialogue, indirect speech and inner monologue results in a pull that places the characters in close. They are characters given a literary wisdom that makes them at the same time, and so it must be, human beings and characters of novels. Omertà shows the immediacy of a reality of people who are overwritten by wars, and what soon calls itself history, and yet are always capable of their own testimonies.

– Heike Geißler

Andrea Tompa, © Stefan Klüter / Suhrkamp Verlag

Author: Andrea Tompa

Andrea Tompa studied Slavic languages and works as a theater critic. Omerta. Hallgatások könyve (Omertà. Buch des Schweigens) is her third novel and her first book translated into German. She has lived in Budapest since 1990.

Terézia Mora, © Antje Berghuser

Translator: Terézia Mora

Terézia Mora is a writer, screenwriter and translator. She has degrees in Hungarian studies and theater studies and trained as a screenwriter at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. Since 1998, Mora has worked as a freelance author and translates Hungarian literature into German.