Skylark

By Dezso Kosztolanyi
It is 1900, give or take a few years. The Vajkays--call them Mother and Father--live in Sarszeg, a dead-end burg in the provincial heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Father retired some years ago to devote his days to genealogical research and quaint questions of heraldry. Mother keeps house. Both are utterly enthralled with their daughter, Skylark. Unintelligent, unimaginative, unattractive, and unmarried, Skylark cooks and sews for her parents and anchors the unremitting tedium of their lives.
Now Skylark is going away, for one week only, it's true, but a week that yawns endlessly for her parents. What will they do? Before they know it, they are eating at restaurants, reconnecting with old friends, attending the theater. And this is just a prelude to Father's night out at the Panther Club, about which the less said the better. Drunk, in the light of dawn Father surprises himself and Mother with his true, buried, unspeakable feelings about Skylark.
Then, Skylark is back. Is there a world beyond the daily grind and life's creeping disappointments? Kosztolanyi's crystalline prose, perfect comic timing, and profound human sympathy conjure up a tantalizing beauty that lies on the far side of the irredeemably ordinary. To that extent, "Skylark" is nothing less than a magical book.


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"The most original, economical and painful novel I have read in a long time."--Victoria Glendinning, The Times (London)




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ISBN: 9781590173398

About the Paperback

Publisher New York Review of Books
Publish date 03/02/2010
Pages 222
ISBN-13 9781590173398
ISBN-10 1590173392
Language English, English

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