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Photo courtesty of Katarzyna Zukrowska
Paul Dry Books
The Hungarian Cultural Center
The Consulate General of Hungary
The Polish Cultural Institute New York

Wojciech Zukrowski's Stone Tablets
Attila Szász's The Ambassador to Bern

Friday, October 28, 2016
Reception to follow

Consulate General of Hungary
223 E 52nd St (between 2nd and 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10022

"A novel of epic scope and ambition."--Kirkus (starred review)

"A masterwork."--The Wall Street Journal

Join us as we observe the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and the classic Polish novel inspired by it: Stone Tablets by Wojciech Zukrowski.

The novel tells the story of István Terey, a Hungarian diplomat posted to New Delhi just months before the outbreak of the revolution back home. He is popular on all sides, but his sympathy for the revolutionaries grievances lands him in political hot water. Meanwhile he has fallen in love with a beautiful Australian woman, and is finding his deep Catholic faith tested. Full of heat, color, and romance, Stone Tablets is a gripping read.

Zukrowski was a World War II resistance veteran, a lifelong friend of Pope John Paul II, and a war correspondent. He served as a diplomat in India in the 1950s, and based Stone Tablets on his experiences there. Censored on publication in 1966 and banned from translation into foreign languages for 23 years, Stone Tablets has nonetheless proved an enduring favorite in its native country. It is now available in English for the first time.

Translator and journalist Stefanie Kraft will talk about the book and its fascinating history. She will be joined by Prof. Csaba Békés, István Deák Visiting Professor of History at Columbia University, and a renowned specialist on the Hungarian revolution. The discussion will be moderated by Ross Ufberg, President of New Vessel Press and translator from Russian and Polish.

The evening will conclude with a screening of the award-winning Hungarian film The Ambassador to Bern (dir. Attila Szász). a fictionalized retelling of the attack on the Hungarian Embassy in Bern, Switzerland in the aftermath of the uprising. The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a taughtly-paced political thriller" and "thoroughly engrossing". The film and Zukrowskis book promise offer a broad picture of the extraordinary story of the Hungarian Revolution.

Stephanie Kraft will also speak about the book in Polish with Izabela Barry, at the Greenpoint Branch of Brooklyn Public Library on October 27 at 6:30pm.

Wojciech Zukrowski (1916-2000) was one of Polands best-known twentieth-century authors. A prolific novelist, screenwriter, and essayist, he was a war correspondent in Vietnam in the early 1950s, and worked at the embassy in New Delhi from 1956 to 1959. In 1996 Zukrowski won the Reymont Prize for lifetime literary achievement.

Stefanie Kraft has been a newspaper reporter and freelance writer for forty years. She is the author of No Castles on Main Street and translator of Emancipated Women by BolesBaw Prus. She has been traveling to Poland since 1988, and has published translations of short Polish fiction in Metamorphoses, a journal of literary translation.

Csaba Békés Ph.D., Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, is founding director of the Cold War History Research Center and Research Chair at the Institute of Political Studies and Hungarian Academy of Sciences, both in Budapest. He is also Professor of History at Corvinus University of Budapest and a recurring visiting professor at Columbia University. He is a former research fellow of the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center and the Project on the Cold War as Global Conflict at New York University. His book: Hungary, the Soviet Bloc and World Politics, 19441991 is forthcoming.

Ross Ufberg is cofounder of New Vessel Press. His writing and translations have appeared in a wide range of publications, from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and more.

Attila Szász is a director, screenwriter, and film critic. The Ambassador to Bern (2014) was his debut film, and won critical acclaim around the world. His film Demimonde was released in 2015. His films have screened at over 150 film festivals and won 40 international awards.

This event is co-presented by the Hungarian Institute, the Consulate General of Hungary, and the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

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