Dossier K by Imre Kertesz
A Memoir

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What all of this adds up to is very loosely a memoir, but it might be better described as an energetic and thoughtful introduction (or companion) to Kertesz’s other books. Kertesz, for his part, seems to intend “Dossier K.” as a kind of catchall interview that will save him not simply from having to sit for more interviews...
-NY Times

Synopsis

The first and only memoir from the Nobel Prize–winning author, in the form of an illuminating, often funny, and often combative interview—with himself

Dossier K. is Imre Kertész’s response to the hasty biographies and profiles that followed his 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature—an attempt to set the record straight. 

The result is an extraordinary self-portrait, in which Kertész interrogates himself about the course of his own remarkable life, moving from memories of his childhood in Budapest, his imprisonment in Nazi death camps and the forged record that saved his life, his experiences as a censored journalist in postwar Hungary under successive totalitarian communist regimes, and his eventual turn to fiction, culminating in the novels—such as Fatelessness, Fiasco, and Kaddish for an Unborn Child—that have established him as one of the most powerful, unsentimental, and imaginatively daring writers of our time. 

In this wide-ranging and provocative book, Kertész continues to delve into the questions that have long occupied him: the legacy of the Holocaust, the distinctions drawn between fiction and reality, and what he calls “that wonderful burden of being responsible for oneself.”


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Imre Kertesz

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IMRE KERTÉSZ was born in Hungary in 1929. At the age of fourteen he was imprisoned at Auschwitz and later at the Buchenwald concentration camps. He is the author of 14 books of fiction and non-fiction, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 2002 for "writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history." Translator TIM WILKINSON is the primary English translator of Imre Kertész as well as numerous other significant works of Hungarian history and literature. In 2005, his translation of Kertész's Fatelessness was awarded the PEN Club/Book of the Month Club Translation Prize. He lives in London.







Author Residence: Berlin
 
Published May 7, 2013 by Melville House. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Dossier K
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Martin Riker on Aug 09 2013

What all of this adds up to is very loosely a memoir, but it might be better described as an energetic and thoughtful introduction (or companion) to Kertesz’s other books. Kertesz, for his part, seems to intend “Dossier K.” as a kind of catchall interview that will save him not simply from having to sit for more interviews...

Read Full Review of Dossier K: A Memoir | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Ian Sansom on Jul 12 2013

...Kertész's harsh objectivity – severity, one might say – is matched by a rather sweet strain of melancholy and nostalgia, and much of the pleasure of the book derives from his recalling of details of his early life in Hungary...

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WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by SAM MUNSON on Aug 02 2013

Readers used to well-cushioned American literary memoirs will be surprised and discomfited by Imre Kertész's "Dossier K." The Hungarian novelist and 2002 Nobel Prize winner remains an enigma in the U.S...his memoir will exert on its readers a demand impossible to ignore: to read his novels.

Read Full Review of Dossier K: A Memoir | See more reviews from WSJ online

Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 03 2013

The author’s novels may provide a better introduction to his work, but this memoir will help to further illuminate them.

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