Battlefields and Playgrounds

Janos Nyiri

Cover of "Battlefields and Playgrounds"A major Holocaust novel, hailed internationally as "vast and magnificent" and named Book of the Year by the Financial Times. The story of Jozsef Sondor, a tough, irreverently witty Jewish boy growing up in World War II Hungary, carries readers into the whirl of everyday life in war-torn Budapest, from the eve of the Holocaust in Hungary to Russian liberation in 1945. Through his eyes, we witness history, or, as he sees it, the adult world gone mad. What is this "Jewish problem," he asks. And what can God be thinking of? Jozsef soon finds that his questions have no simple answers, but they do lead him on a journey to understanding the war, politics, religion, and, in the end, the complexity of human nature

“If this were simply a book of consuming interest to those concerned with Hungary, or the war, or the Jews, it would still be worth reading, But it is so much more. It is an adventure story full of suspense, a child study of outstanding merit, an enthralling family saga, a highly entertaining and enlightening novel. More than five hundred pages dwindle with dismaying speed, but they bear away with them the distance between here and Hungary, between Jew and Gentile.” —Literary Review

About the Author

After the 1956 Uprising, Janos Nyiri left Hungary for France and later England, where he is a novelist, playwright, and director.