Iza's Ballad

Iza's Ballad

Book - 2015
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"When Ettie's husband dies, her daughter, Iza, insists that she give up the family house in the countryside and move to Budapest. Displaced from her community and her home, Ettie tries to find her place in this new life. Iza's Ballad is the story of a woman who loses her life's companion and a mother trying to get close to a daughter whom she has never truly known. It is about the meeting of the old-fashioned and the modern worlds and the beliefs we construct over a lifetime."--
Publisher: London : Vintage, 2015.
Copyright Date: ©2014.
ISBN: 9780099532385
Characteristics: 327 pages ;,20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Szirtes, George 1948-- Translator


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Apr 17, 2017

I very much enjoyed The Door so was looking forward to reading this. While the style is excellent I was disappointed and grew impatient with the old woman and her lack of courage. Did not finish the book.

Mar 04, 2017

the story circles through the lives of Iza, Ettie, Vince and Antal bringing memories of the past into the present as their lives undergo the changes wrought by Vince's death. devotion challenges determination, love gives way to isolation, progress erases physical markers of the past as memory reaches for the old comforts that are no longer there.

tunes hummed, folk songs sung discomfit some while soothing others. open hearts can be stifled and smothered even by love and kindness.

as with Szabo's The Door - intergenerational misunderstanding is the nugget.

JCLMELODYK Feb 10, 2017

Iza is a loving, doting daughter who wants to care for her mother after the death of her father. This is a poignant story on the difficulties of love in practice.

manoush Sep 11, 2015

A beautiful, quietly devastating novel. Singularly focused on four main characters and written in a timeless, crystalline prose (surely also a testament to the poet translator's skill). At the heart of the novel is the loving relationship between two aged parents and their brilliant only child, Iza, though there's an uneasy undertow to their love that quietly builds up to a full revelation in the novel's very last pages. Midway through the novel, we get a compelling portrait of the orphan Antal, who marries Iza and joins the small family. Iza, the book's anchor and central pole, remains deliberately opaque until the very end. There the author delivers a devastating verdict that leaves the reader puzzling over why, in a novel that richly evokes the inner lives of three characters, the title character is left unfurled. The novel was first published in Hungarian under the title "Pilatus" in 1963.

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