SKU: 9781912545384 Category: Tag:

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By Andrea Tompa. Translated by Jozefina Komporaly

ISBN: 978-1-912545-384

Prompted by a class reunion, Home deals with the experience of homecoming after extended absence and engages with the archaeology of the self in the context of estrangement and belonging. Having taken the decision to emigrate decades earlier, Tompa’s unnamed protagonist is caught between two worlds, navigating a journey from one homeland to another, and suddenly facing an upsurge of revelations that have a strong emotional impact. Home takes in landmark events from the past, starting with the youthful ease with which the protagonist had set off on an adventure of a lifetime, and continuing with the personal stories of former classmates – some also scattered around the world, and others who decided to stay put. Home negotiates diverse orders of experience and presumed difference without being judgmental, and attention is being drawn to ongoing change over time – be it in the lives of those who opted to stay or to leave.  

Read an excerpt in the LA Review of Books

“At a time when nationalism is dangerously on the rise in Hungary (and elsewhere), a title such as ‘Home’ could easily be classed as provocative. Tompa’s notion of ‘home’ harks back to a pre-nationalist era, privileging the personal memory of the narrator, intertwined with the memories of those whose lives are connected to that of the protagonist’s. In an almost thriller-like episode, we get to follow the daily itinerary of the narrator’s father, based on denunciating undercover informer reports. Home in this case is constructed in response to a mental map attached to the father, from the perspective of a government snitch. In parallel with this, we get a sense of alienation by witnessing the narrator check into a hotel while visiting their hometown, readers thus being confronted with the notion of home in speech marks so to speak: ‘home’ incorporating broader and broader connotations, informer reports and distorted perceptions of identities included.”

Robert Milbacher, Élet és Irodalom