Hungarian author Virág Katalin Balogh was born in 1981. Her first book, a volume of short stories, was published in 2019 on her website after her publisher was forced to close mid-publication. Also a literary translator, she has translated works by Ödön von Horváth from German into Hungarian. Von Horváth’s 1932 play Glaube, Liebe, Hoffnung (Faith, Hope, and Charity) has been staged at the Örkény Theatre in Budapest in her translation, while her Hungarian translation of von Horváth’s novel Sechsunddreißig Stunden (Thirty-six hours) is available on her website.
Megint elkalandoztál (You’ve wandered off again) is a volume of 12 short stories, all of which have a first-person narrator who is at the same time the protagonist. The narrators vary in age between 10 and 30, and the stories explore the various ways in which they attempt to cope (typically unsuccessfully) with the vicissitudes of life. Their coping mechanisms range from escapism via alcohol to deliberate deceit, illustrating how maturity is a lifelong process, beset with constant failures, rather than a state that one achieves at a particular age.
‘Backslider’, one of the stories in the volume, is available here in English, translated by Rachel Hideg.