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Ildikó Noémi NAGY
( 1975 )

» Broken in One (2010)


Broken in One

Budapest is likewise one of the secret main characters of Broken In One (Eggyétörve), a volume of short prose by Ildikó Noémi Nagy (b. 1975). The duality that ensues from finding a language foreign on the one hand, and being at home in it on the other hand, is a constant theme of this author, who returned from Canada to Hungary, her parents’ native land, in the 1990s. Nagy is bilingual, and so perhaps it should not be surprising that her fiction evokes a double-layered world. The other tie that most saliently binds her work is stylistic: minimalism. Nagy is thoroughly at home in this approach to writing that has its roots in North America. Thus, images that might be called “excerpts and mosaics” wind up in the narrative center of things; minute details prove to be fatefully important. Is life any different? The author chooses her words carefully and knows full well the power of silence; she understands both the sanctity and the compulsion of staying quiet. Nagy, who studied in her youth to be a violinist, here creates a stunning new “musical” language. Broken In One is simultaneously a sophisticated game of words and a compelling confession about home, language, and inner worlds.

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