Esther's Inheritance

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2008 - Fiction - 148 pages
What is it to be in love with a pathological liar and fantasist? Esther is, and has been for more than twenty years. Lajos, the liar, married her sister, and when she died, Lajos disappeared. Or did he? And Esther? She was left with her elderly cousin, the all-knowing Nunu, and a worn old house, living a life of the most modest comforts. All is well, but all is tired.

Until a telegram arrives announcing that, after all these years, Lajos is returning with his children. The news brings both panic and excitement. While no longer young and thoroughly skeptical about Lajos and his lies, Esther still remembers how incredibly alive she felt when he was around. Lajos’s presence bewitches everyone, and the greatest part of his charm—and his danger—lies in the deftness with which he wields that delicate power. Nothing good can come of this: friends rally round, but Lajos’s arrival, complete with entourage, begins a day of high theater.

Esther’s Inheritance
has the taut economy of Márai’sEmbers,and presents a remarkable narrator who delivers the story as both tragedy and comedy on an intimate scale that nevertheless has archetypal power.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MSarki - LibraryThing

Another brilliant Márai example for the economy of words. Meant, I think, for persons of age, older people who have already had a life and either made something of it or left it unrequited. I am not ... Read full review

ESTHER'S INHERITANCE

User Review  - Kirkus

The quiet horror of self-destructive love fuels this beautifully proportioned novella; since Embers (2001), this is the third work of the Hungarian (1900-89) to be translated into English.Esther tells ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2008)

Sándor Márai was born in Kassa, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1900, and died in San Diego, California, in 1989. He rose to fame as one of the leading literary novelists in Hungary in the 1930s. Profoundly antifascist, he survived the war, but persecution by the Communists drove him from the country in 1948, first to Italy, then to the United States. Embers was published for the first time in English in 2001.

Bibliographic information