András Forgách: No Live Files Remain


A son’s investigation of his mother’s past that brings up incurable pains, nightmarish lies and undestroyable love.


The news came like a bomb. In the autumn of 2015, András Forgách published his most recent literary work in which he presents a troubling personal story. Challenging the border between fact and  ction, the author tells the story of how, almost thirty years after the fall of communism in Hungary, he found out that his mother, whom he deeply loved, had been an informant for the Kádár regime and had informed not only on acquaintances, but also on relatives, family friends and even her children.

In the social sciences, numerous articles and books have been written on the activities and roles of the informants of the socialist era, which is still a subject that is only rarely spoken about openly in Hungary. But apart from Péter Esterházy’s Javított kiadás (“Corrected edition”), no literary work on this matter has been published in the country until now. Time and time again, calls are made in various public forums for a sincere discussion on the mechanisms of the secret service under János Kádár, including the roles of the informants, the processes of recruitment, and the ways in which people were kept under observation. In short, there is a strong desire for an open discussion of the past, because the Hungarian society has not yet managed to deal with such a trauma, which has deeply touched the lives of many people in the country. The enthusiastic reception for András Forgách’s book is a moving testimony of this desire to confront the past.

with more on the book and the author, and a translation sample

“Élő kötet nem marad”, Jelenkor kiadó, 2015
248 PAGES, HARDCOVER, with a distinctive jacket
Bence Sárközy, Sárközy&Co. Literary Agency

French rights to Diavolina by György Spiró have been sold to Actes Sud


Published by Magvető Kiadó, 2015; 208pp

Diavolina, the maid who rose to be a physician, worked as a servant for Maxim Gorky, his wives, lovers, and the crowds of guests who constantly swarmed around the world-famous Russian author. She then became his nurse and his last love. In his latest novel, Hungarian author György Spiró conjures the world of Czarist Russia in its last years and the Soviet Union in its first from the perspective of this shrewd and discerning woman, including the disturbing parallels between the new autocracy and the old: revolutions, intrigues and, more than anything else, untold numbers of dead.

In 1921, Lenin drove Gorky from his homeland. Gorky settled in Italy.
Mussolini, who had just come to power, approved his request for a residency permit, saying that a man who was writing his memoirs could hardly pose a threat. Seven years later, after having made concerted efforts, Stalin compelled the ailing writer to return to the Soviet Union, where he immediately put him to work. Gorky, who was dangerously ill, attempted both to defy and fulfill expectations. Trusting in his own stature and strength of character, he sought to outwit the regime.

Every character in this novel is based on a historical figure, and even the most astonishing stories are true. As we read, we feel we are among the ever-changing circles of guests – artists, writers, intellectuals, scoundrels, and murderers – who over the decades frequented Gorky’s many homes.

Congratulations to Dóra Károlyi, Angel of Translators!

Dóra Károlyi, director of the Hungarian Book Foundation (now working under a new name in cadre of the Petofi Museum of Literature) will be awarded the Angel of Translators Prize on the 5th of March in Amsterdam.

The Literary Translators Workgroup of the Dutch Literary Association (Vereniging van Letterkundigen, Werkgroep Literair Vertalers), together with the SLAA foundation (Stichting Literaire Activiteiten Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Literary Programme Foundation) has been awarding this prize for five years now to the person – not necessarily a translator – or institute which helped the cause of literary translation and translators in an outstanding way.

Since the beginning of the Hungarian Book Foundation’s activity, Dóra Károlyi has helped the publication of nearly 900 titles of 300 authors in 46 languages, including many authors that we’ve been representing internationally throughout the years. Without her work, our work would have been much harder – and without her work, many of the world’s bookshelves would be missing some incredibly wonderful books by Hungarian authors.

Original article in Hungarian. Photo by Petra Szőcs /

Rights Guide Frankfurt 2011

In the last days before the Frankfurt Book Fair 2011, the very first Rights Guide of the Sárközy & Co. Agency was born! Read author bios, synopsises and press excerpts on our authors Zsuzsa Rakovszky, Sándor Zsigmond Papp, Dávid Barna, Gergely Nagy, Endre Kukorelly, István Kerékgyártó, János Térey, László András, Béla Ernyey, Levente Király, Gábor Lanczkor, Ildikó Lovas, András Maros and Zoltán Poós, and send us your enquiries!