The Finno-Ugrian Vampire

Noémi Szécsi, trans. from the Hungarian by Peter Sherwood. Marion Boyars (Consortium, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-7145-3155-7
Jerne V. Ampere comes from a long line of vampires. Ambivalent about her heritage, she mimics ordinariness, working at a dead-end publishing job while writing a children’s book that her editor insists cannot be published in its current gory form. In contrast, Jerne’s centuries-old grandmother revels in vampirism, extending her abnormal youthfulness with a succession of victims seduced and discarded in turn. Jerne slowly accepts her vampiric self, encouraged by her grandmother but oddly reluctant to mature, and takes and loses lovers both male and female (“since women are in any case objects of desire and it is easier to go for something that is the way of the world”) as she metamorphoses. Sherwood’s translation is noteworthy—skillful but unobtrusive. Lauded in Szécsi’s native Hungary and popular in Europe, this tale of an awkward vampire amuses; the disaffected protagonist and the inherent absurdity of vampires in a mundane setting provide a looking glass with which to examine modern life. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/11/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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Open Ebook - 136 pages - 978-0-7145-2330-9
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