Sandor Marai was born in Kassa, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1900, and died in San Diego, California, in 1989. He rose to fame as one of the leading literary novelists in Hungary in the 1930s. Profoundly antifascist, he survived World War II, but persecution by the Communists drove him from the country in 1948. He went into exile, first in Italy, then in the United States.
"A darkly comic, war-ravaged coming-of-age tale that displays much of the genius visible in his later works, but [is] also funnier and more extravagantly imaginative." --The New Yorker"The emotional power of the story is that of a simple, straightforward narrative . . . followed by stunning revelation." --The Boston Globe"A morbidly comic novel . . . marked by passages of bleak elegiac grandeur." --The New York Sun