By Johanna Adorján
A popular cultural journalist supplies a rare account of her grandparents by way of reconstructing, hour via hour, the day in their suicide.
Johanna Adorján's grandparents have been unconventionally based and without end unique; they survived the Holocaust, fled Budapest through the rebellion of 1956, and lived a glamorous and mysterious existence in Denmark—their pasts by no means mentioned, even in the family members. An particular Love is Adorján's poignant and loving reconstruction of what could have occurred at the day in their deaths, whilst Adorján was once simply twenty. Investigating the wealthy and striking tale in their lives, Adorján unearths the compromises they made and hazards they took, and what it intended for her family. This memoir tells of a couple's extravagant devotion to one another, and their granddaughter's later discovery of complicated personalities, long-buried kin secrets and techniques, and why they eventually made up our minds, jointly, to take their very own lives. W. G. Sebald's translator Anthea Bell renders Adorján's brilliantly developed, powerfully concise memoir with attractive readability. fantastically written, gentle yet by no means sentimental, An specific Love is a shiny portrait of a real twentieth-century couple. .
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Extra info for An Exclusive Love: A Memoir
Thrown into camp and treated as worthless material, one's destiny is quickly sealed, especially as one loses strength and energy. The need for association is so strong that a faint link is enough to build a life-saving relationship and to create instant support. A vague connection will do. " Such tenuous links form bridges. Often a weak person would try to endear herself through small services to a stronger one, or perhaps a stronger woman needs an interest to fight for, a weaker person to protect.
They are the British. They are so close, yet so far. In an unguarded moment I say to my parents: "I would prefer to die from an English or American bomb than fall into German hands/7 "How can you say such a thing in front of your mother," reproaches my father when we are alone. Hungarian industry cautiously hides its important employees and offices in smaller towns. Ours is no exception, which is how a wonderful family is assigned to our house, Gyula and Anna and their two little daughters. Their warm, calm, supportive presence, without useless words, is precious to me and to my parents.
Meanwhile, a delegation of farmers, led by the head of the Nazi Party in Szemere, travels to the District Attorney with a 27 request for an exemption for my daughter and me. The supposed reason is that I am needed as a cook for the farm hands; the request is refused. We are given four days to prepare for the trip. When we are done, we have three horsedrawn carriages loaded with the belongings we think we'll need, wherever we might go. At the last minute I rummage and sort through my personal things, coming across my new hat.