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The Ninth (Writings from an Unbound Europe

Set in a sleepy village north of Budapest in 1968, this touching, unsettling novel paints a richly wrought portrait of mid-twentieth-century Hungary. The narrator is the ninth child of a family distinguished by its size, poverty, faith, and abundance of physical and psychological disabilities. His confusion is exacerbated by the strict, secretive Catholic household his parents keep in the face of a Communist system. These dual oppressions propel him toward an inevitable realization of his guilt and desire that speaks to his struggle with a fateful, seamless beauty.
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About the Author

Ferenc Barnas (b. 1959) is an acclaimed Hungarian novelist whose books include Az eloskodo (The Parasite) and Bagatell (Bagatelle). He is the recipient of two of Hungary's highest literary honors: the Sandor Marai Prize (2001) and the Tibor Dery Prize (2006).


"This coming-of-age novel leaves the reader guessing about the protagonist's future, while marveling at youth's resilience. The Ninth is Barnas' ironic "Ode to Joy."" --World Literature in Review

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