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[Bernard Adams] maintains the clipped, sonorous rhythms of Kosztalányi’s prose while matching its comic wit stride for stride.

—Los Angeles Review of Books

Bernard Adams

Translator of Hungarian Literature

Bernard Adams was born in 1937 in the Black Country of the English West Midlands. Educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, he did his National Service in the regimental band of the Royal Scots Greys, then read Hungarian and Russian at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was awarded an American PEN translation award in 2008, and in the same year won second prize in the John Dryden translation competition in the U.K. In 2009 he received a translation award from the Füst Milán Foundation of the Hungarian Academy of Science. He has published some 30 titles. In 2006 he moved to Hungary, and now lives at Zánka on the north side of Lake Balaton.


Kornél Esti

Fiction by Dezső Kosztolányi

translated by Bernard Adams

Crazy, funny and gorgeously dark, Kornél Esti sets into rollicking action a series of adventures about a man and his wicked doppelgänger, who breathes every forbidden idea of his childhood into his ear, and then reappears decades later. Part Gogol, part Chekhov, and all brilliance, Kosztolányi’s final book serves up his most magical, radical, and intoxicating work. Here is a novel which inquires: What if your id (loyally keeping your name) decides to strike out on its own, cuts a disreputable swatch through the world, and then sends home to you all its unpaid bills and ruined maidens? And then: What if you and your alter ego decide to write a book together?