|An author who depicts games of subservience and dark social perversions with irresistible, absurdist humour, read even by those who do not otherwise follow contemporary literature.
Difficult relationships, manipulation, uncertainty and the harsh realities of life with fate’s strange twists are common themes that Toth has developed in her writing whether expressed in poetry (Whale Song), drama (Pokémon, The Bat) or prose (Pixel, Barcode). Her latest novel “The Monkey’s Eyes”, was Hungary’s best-selling work of fiction in 2022 and has rapidly become an indispensable work of contemporary literature. No stranger to controversy, Krisztina Tóth does not shy away from bringing to light the hypocrisies, manipulation, and injustices of today’s society, sometimes painting grotesque portraits of modern Central Europe with a tinge of the region’s dark humour.
Born in 1967, she is one of the most popular and best known Hungarian authors and the recipient of numerous awards. She studied sculpting and literature in Budapest and spent two years in Paris during her university years.
Krisztina Tóth has published almost 40 books of prose, poetry, drama and children’s stories. Her children’s books treat topics that are considered unusual, even taboo, for example, “Mum had an operation” (a story about cancer) and “Pig and Goose” a successful series of children’s tales.
In 2015, her novel Aquarium featured on the shortlist of the German Internationaler Literaturpreis. Her works have been translated into twenty languages and can be read in Arabic, Czech, English, Finnish, French, German, Polish, Spanish and Swedish amongst others.
This Summer will see the publication of a new set of short stories “From where to see the sky” and an English translation of her play “The Bat”.
In her review of Pixel entitled, “The Hungarian Author who foresaw the future of Nationalism”*, Stephanie Newman writes, “Tóth muses that generations of humans, like bobbing needles, are “seaming together the fraying layers of the past and the present.” Their countries of origin don’t matter; neither do their religions, genders, or ethnicities. What Tóth creates in Pixel is emblematic of Europe as she sees it: a place in which “everything is sewn together while the thread itself is invisible.”
*The Literary Hub Oct 17, 2019