An American Woman

Kati Marton, Author W. W. Norton & Company $15.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-393-02420-3
For this first novel set in modern-day Hungary, Marton, a journalist and author of the biography Wallenberg, draws on her personal background as the daughter of Hungarian news correspondents who fled their Soviet-dominated native land for the West. When 36-year-old Anna Bator, a New Yorkbased newscaster for UNS News, finds herself in Budapest's Fo Street maximum security prison, she not only seems to be reliving the imprisonment of her own parents 30 years beforelike them, she has left behind a small daughterbut she is attempting to piece together the disparate fragments of her past in order to discover some kind of meaningful identity. Anna discovers that her father kept secret his participation in brutal, shocking events, the repercussions of which cannot be forgotten. She learns, too, that her status as an American journalist does not make her invulnerable to current affairs. Marton's picture of socialist Hungary is grim indeed. She portrays a gray, frightened society unrelieved by human warmth or trust. Her novel, which is part love story between child and parent, part romance between adults (Anna becomes deeply involved with a CIA operative), is an absorbing one with a truly surprising twist at the end. (April 13)
Reviewed on: 06/26/1987
Release date: 07/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
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