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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

László Krasznahorkai

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László Krasznahorkai

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Full Name: László Krasznahorkai
Born: January 5, 1954
Gyula, Bekes County, Hungary
Occupation: Writer
Nationality: Hungarian


László Krasznahorkai is a Hungarian novelist and screenwriter known for difficult and demanding novels, often labeled postmodern, with dystopian and melancholic themes.

Krasznahorkai was born in Gyula, Hungary on 5 January 1954 to a middle-class Jewish family on his father's side. His father, György Krasznahorkai, was a lawyer and his mother, Júlia Pálinkás, a social security administrator.

In 1972 Krasznahorkai graduated from the Erkel Ferenc high school where he specialized in Latin. From 1973 to 1976 he studied law at the József Attila University (now University of Szeged) and from 1976 to 1978 at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest. From 1978 to 1983 he studied Hungarian language and literature at ELTE Faculty of Humanities, receiving his degree. His thesis was on the work and experiences of writer and journalist Sándor Márai (1900-1989) after he fled the Communist regime in 1948. During his years as a literature student, Krasznahorkai worked at the publishing company Gondolat Könyvkiadó.

Since completing his university studies, Krasznahorkai has supported himself as an independent author. In 1985, his debut novel Satantango achieved success, and he was immediately thrust into the forefront of Hungarian literary life. The book is a dystopian novel set in his homeland of Hungary, and is considered his best known work. It received a Best Translated Book Award in English in 2013.

He travelled outside of Communist Hungary for the first time in 1987, spending a year in West Berlin as a recipient of a DAAD fellowship. Since the collapse of the Soviet Bloc, he has lived in a variety of locations. In 1990, for the first time, he was able to spend a significant amount of time in East Asia. He drew upon his experiences in Mongolia and China in writing The Prisoner of Urga and Destruction and Sorrow Beneath the Heavens. He has returned many times to China.

In 1993, his novel The Melancholy of Resistance received the German Bestenliste-Prize for the best literary work of the year. In 1996, he was a guest of the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. While completing the novel War and War, he travelled widely across Europe. The American poet Allen Ginsberg was of great assistance in completing the work; Krasznahorkai resided for some time in Ginsberg's New York apartment, and he described the poet's friendly advice as valuable in bringing the book to life.

In 1996, 2000, and 2005 he spent six months in Kyoto. His contact with the aesthetics and literary theory of the Far East resulted in significant changes in his writing style and deployed themes. He returns often to both Germany and Hungary, but he has also spent varying lengths of time in several other countries, including the United States, Spain, Greece, and Japan, providing inspiration for his novel Seiobo There Below, which won the Best Translated Book Award in 2014.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Non Series Works