Paul Olchváry

Hungarian translator

Paul Olchváry

Paul Olchváry

Paul Olchváry has received grants from the NEA, PEN, and Hungary’s Milán Füst Foundation.

cover image of the book The Sinistra Zone

The Sinistra Zone

by Ádám Bodor

Translated by Paul Olchváry

Entering a weird, remote hamlet, Andrei calls himself “a simple wayfarer,” but he is in fact highly compromised: he has no identity papers. Taken under the wing of the military zone’s commander, Andrei is first assigned to guard the blueberries that supply a nearby bear reserve. He is surrounded by human wrecks, supernatural umbrellas, birds carrying plagues, albino twins.

The bears — and an affair with a married woman — occupy Andrei until his protector is replaced by a new female commander, “a slender creature, quiet, diaphanous, like a dragonfly,” and yet an iron-fisted harridan. As things grow ever more alarming, Andrei becomes a “corpse watchman,” standing guard over the dead to check for any signs of life, and then …

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