• Legacy

A powerful and haunting novel, by one of Hungary's greatest modern writers, about the heroic actions of Carl Lutz, who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from almost certain death during the Holocaust.


In 2002 a Jewish man recalls the dying days of the Nazi occupation of Hungary and how, as a fourteen-year-old, he and his family were to be sent to the death camps before coming under the protection of legendary Swiss Vice-Consul, Carl Lutz, who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from almost certain death.

Decades on he tries to make sense of his own past, his country and to learn more about Lutz who, like his contemporary in Budapest Raoul Wallenberg, risked his own life to protect him and countless others. As a witness to the events of 1944–5 and one of Lutz's survivors, he is invited by Swiss television to be involved in a film about Lutz.

Iván Sándor’s haunting novel follows three interweaving strands: the story of the narrator’s flight, the extraordinary achievements of Carl Lutz and the impressions of the older man recalling the past. Beyond the story itself, Legacy investigates history, memory and how we understand the past – and how that is shaped by whoever happens to be telling the story.

Translated from the Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson.

'A multi-faceted literary monument.' – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
'Wide-awake and intellectually brilliant ... leaps virtuoso-like across time-periods, switches narrative perspective and remains, despite its wealth of ideas, absolutely moving literature that sweeps you along.' – Jüdische Zeitung

IVÁN SÁNDOR (born 1930) is one of Hungary’s best-known living writers. Since 1967 he has published eleven novels and many other volumes of prose, earning critical acclaim in Hungary as well as in the German-speaking countries and France (his novels Követés – based in large part on the author’s own experiences during the Nazi occupation of Budapest – Az Ejszaka Mélyén 1914 and Drága Liv have appeared in translation). Sándor has been awarded Hungary’s highest literary honours, including the Sándor Márai Prize (2000) and the Kossuth Prize (2005). Earlier in his career he was a prominent theatre critic and playwright. He lives in Budapest.

TIM WILKINSON (born 1947) grew up in Sheffield but has lived much of his adult life in London as well as spending several years in Budapest. He is the principal English translator of Nobel laureate Imre Kertész (including Fate - lessness, Fiasco, Kaddish for an Unborn Child, Liquidation and Dossier K) and more recently Miklós Szentkuthy (Marginalia on Casanova, Towards the One and Only Metaphor), among others, as well as shorter works by a wide range of other contemporary Hungarian-language authors.

Bibliographic Data
Date Published 17 June 2014
ISBN Number 9780720615715
Pages 292


  • £9.99

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Tags: Holocaust, jewish literature, jewish author, hungary, hungarian fiction, the legacy, ivan sandor, ivo sandor, sandor