Sarah Nelson talked to me about The White King for the Publisher’s Weekly daily run at the Frankfurt Bookfair. Go here for the whole interview: PN online
György Dragomán talked to PW about his second novel The White King, a coming-of-age story set in a totalitarian society
Q: Obviously, the first question to ask is: How autobiographical is this novel about a young boy whose father is disappeared by a repressive government?
A: Many of the events in the book didn’t happen exactly the way they did in my life, but they could have. My father was not taken away permanently, but he would be taken in and questioned for days at a time. I grew up [in a Romania] that was much like the setting [never named] in this book. But, for example, in the book, I have a scene of boys fighting each other with hammers; that never happened like that, but my friends and I did talk about fighting with hammers and had even picked out what hammers we would have used.
Q: Do you consider this a political book, or a coming-of-age story, or both?
A: I wanted to write about freedom in a society where freedom is not possible. In that case it is political. I spent my youth in a society similar to that of The White King: you are denied the power of reflection. You don’t really realize that your life could be otherwise, which is precisely the way most children feel about their childhoods. (…)
For the rest see: PN online