Portraits of a Marriage: Book summary and reviews of Portraits of a Marriage by Sándor Márai

Portraits of a Marriage

by Sándor Márai

Portraits of a Marriage
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2011
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A masterwork from the famed Hungarian novelist Sándor Márai, Portraits of a Marriage is in fact a portrait of a triangle - three passionate, single-minded lovers fighting over the marriage at the center, each of them bearing the capacity to love irrationally to an irreparable degree.

A wealthy couple in bourgeois society, Peter and Ilona appear to enjoy a fine union. But each of them loves someone or something different. For Ilona, it is Peter. For Peter, it is their child but also the servant, Judit. And for Judit, it is her very future. The result is a vortex of love, sacrifice, and self-preservation from which there is no escape.

Set against the backdrop of Hungary between the wars, Portraits of a Marriage offers further "posthumous evidence of [Márai’s] neglected brilliance" (Chicago Tribune).

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Suffused with nostalgia and regret, the book evokes and examines both the nature of longing and the decline of a great empire." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. With this phenomenal novel, our conviction...is confirmed: he ranks as one of the twentieth century’s greatest novelists...Portraits of a Marriage is the last word on the effectiveness of the triple-voice technique. - Booklist

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Author Information

Sándor Márai Author Biography

Sándor Márai was born in Kassa, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1900. He rose to fame as one of the leading literary novelists in Hungary in the 1930s. Profoundly antifascist, he survived World War II, but persecution by the Communists drove him from the country in 1948, first to Italy and then to the United States. Márai committed suicide in San Diego in 1989. He is the author of a significant body of work, which is being translating into English.

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