Seven Dirty Days
Spanning a century of European history and locales including Budapest, Berlin, Paris, and Moscow, Seven Dirty Days follows the fate of a mysterious photograph that reveals--in seven sordid chapters--shocking accounts of the treatment of women and the treatment of Jews. A filmmaker's powerfully cinematic narrative, it also gives voice to women in control of their fates, and, throughout, gives us glimmers of hope for a better future.
With relentless narrative force punctuated by an exhilarating comic touch, Péter Gárdos weaves a story as absorbing, suspenseful, and inventive as it is sweeping in the century of Central and Eastern European history it covers; a story that takes the reader in stunningly credible detail from pre-World War I Budapest and Berlin to 1930s Moscow and Paris, post-World War II provincial Kazakhstan; and then back again to Budapest, first in the communist era and, finally, in the twenty-first century, where, on board an international express train en route to Munich, no less, things come full circle in a scene that comes within a hair's breadth of murder.
This story of social conflict, political upheaval, oppressor/oppressed (e.g., man/woman, fascist/Jew), betrayal, and so much more is rendered with great sensitivity even amid its unsettling depictions of sexual depravity and sexual violence. Its transnational reckoning with a century of history is as powerful as any that has come out of Europe in recent years; the almost playful prose brings a story that in another writer's hands might simply be depressing fully to life.
About this Author
Péter Gárdos is the author of the 2017 novel Fever at Dawn (Hungarian: Hajnali láz; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, US; Transworld/Doubleday, UK; trans. Elizabeth Szász) and published in thirty-six languages. An award-winning film director in Hungary and the author of several novels, he was born in 1948 in Budapest. He teaches screenwriting and directing at Budapest Metropolitan University. He is best known in Hungary for his films Dear God, Whooping Cough, The Scorpion Eats the Twins for Breakfast, and The Porcelain Doll. He is a recipient of Hungary's prestigious Béla Balázs Prize for his cinematic achievements.
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