Iza's Ballad

By Magda Szabo
From the author of The Door, selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2015
An NYRB Classics Original
Like Magda Szabo s internationally acclaimed novel The Door, Iza s Ballad is a striking story of the relationship between two women, in this case a mother and a daughter. Ettie, the mother, is old and from an older world than the rapidly modernizing Communist Hungary of the years after World War II. From a poor family and without formal education, Ettie has devoted her life to the cause of her husband, Vince, a courageous magistrate who had been blacklisted for political reasons before the war. Iza, their daughter, is as brave and conscientious as her father: Active in the resistance against the Nazis, she is now a doctor and a force for progress. Iza lives and works in Budapest, and when Vince dies, she is quick to bring Ettie to the city to make sure her mother is close and can be cared for. She means to do everything right, and Ettie is eager to do everything to the satisfaction of the daughter she is so proud of. But good intentions aside, mother and daughter come from two different worlds and have different ideas of what it means to lead a good life. Though they struggle to accomodate each other, increasingly they misunderstand and hurt each other, and the distance between them widens into an abyss. . . ."

[A] heartbreakingly beautiful novel...Szirtes conveys both the sophistication and simplicity of Szabo s narrative in a superb translation......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. The Irish Times A ruthless exploration of the damage we inflict on one another in the name of love. The Independent Ghosts, angels, and demons hover in this quiet meditation on grief, love, and history." Kirkus The writing has a lovely clarity and a relevance that is timeless. Kate Saunders, The Times (London) 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, The Lady"



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ISBN: 9781681370347

About the Paperback

Publisher New York Review of Books
Publish date 10/18/2016
Pages 352
ISBN-13 9781681370347
ISBN-10 1681370344
Language English

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