The Circumcision
György Dalos

Translated from the Hungarian by Judith Sollosy

Gyorgy Dallos was the honoured winner of the 2010 Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding, worth 15000 euros. He was described as a Hungarian writer who excels at portraying political issues with satire.

Twelve-year-old Robi Singer and best friend Gabor Blum are the only boys in their class who have yet to be circumcised. Robi missed out because he was born in a Budapest air raid shelter, during a period of intense bombing.

Robi is worried.

‘What if the knife should slip? How will he show himself in front of the others in the showers? Will he find a wife? And is there plastic surgery to fix up damage of this sort?’

So should he have the circumcision? It seems everyone has an opinion – from friends and teachers at the Jewish School, to his eccentric grandmother and hypochondriac mother – but in the end, the final decision is down to Robi

'György Dalos's novel is lucidly translated from the Hungarian with helpful footnotes on Yiddish words and Jewish customs.Fast, funny and only a little flip' The Guardian

György Dalos was born in Budapest in 1943. Arrested in 1968 for ‘activities against the state’, he was under a publication ban for the next 19 years. From 1995 to 1999 he was the head of the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Berlin and was the curator for Hungarian literature at the 1999 Frankfurt Book Fair. He now lives in Germany.

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Paperback 160pp
ISBN: 0-7145-3123-5
Spring 2006


Cover Design: Eleanor Rose