The Storyteller: Memory, Secrets, Magic and Lies
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Born in 1889, Anna Porter's grandfather, Vili Rácz, was a patriot and an Olympic athlete, a magician and a lawyer, a publisher and a prisoner, a philanderer and a devoted family man. On long walks through the once-grand European capital of Budapest, in confidences whispered in splendid fin-de-siècle coffeehouses, Vili shared his stories of heroes and hardships, war and revolution. Vili's stories are the foundation of this vivid memoir, which follows Anna and her family from the tumultuous years of the Second World War to the Hungarian Revolution and the family's exile to New Zealand. Through young Anna's eyes, we accompany her to prison with her mother, see her beloved Vili unjustly sentenced to hard labour, and witness unspeakable human loss in the streets of Budapest during the failed uprising against the Communists. As Anna grows up in the beautiful but beleaguered city, her grandfather's stories of strife and survival give her a personal sense of history and of values, in a country the world seems to have forgotten.