After having completed his doctorate in comparative literature at Indiana University, Thomas Cooper taught Hungarian literature and language at the University of North Carolina and then served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. He now teaches at the Károli Gáspár University in Budapest. He has translated works of literature by an array of authors, including Nobel Prize-winning writers Imre Kertész and Herta Müller.

Photograph © Thomas Cooper


Showdown in L.A. by András Dezső

Did the Guns N’ Roses know the Hungarian mob? Who killed the Hungarian guitarist Tamás Barta? And do gangsters get homesick? Investigative journalist András Dezső retells the true connected stories of three Hungarian gangsters who defected from 1980s communist Hungary for the Los Angeles underworld.

Another God by Ágnes Gurubi

6. You wake up at dawn. The worst time of day, when you miss him the most. Alack, but one hour mine. You are eager to see him again, to hear him speak to you again. To tell tales of his childhood, of your father and his mother. She was a beautiful woman, indeed, you […]

Eszter’s Garden by Ákos Győrffy

As he makes a nighttime visit to the cemetery where his grandparents are buried, a young man ponders questions which have troubled him since his childhood. He muses over the places where he sought refuge from the fuss and to-do of the world, including the imaginary garden of an imaginary friend. There was no light. […]

Honey by László Imre Horváth

We revisit a scene from Josephus Flavius’ account of what he called, in his famous history, the war of the Jews. We find ourselves with Marcus Atius, who has welcomed a party traveling with the body of Aristobulus in search of honey to preserve the corpse until it can be sent to the Jews for […]

Gypsy Heroes by Rodrigó Balogh

Or a short history of the first collection of dramas by Roma authors When someone asks me what a Gypsy is, I see people in front of me. Men, women, children, elderly people. I never thought of anything else. No images of abject poverty come to mind or stereotypes about Gypsy musicians, not even the […]

Moments of Mercy by Natália Szeifert

Gilda had closed the gate behind her and was setting off down the only street in the village to pay her visits to her elderly patients when suddenly she remembered how she and Peti Sziraki had spent the better part of one morning staring at the white hairs coming out of Uncle Titi’s ears. She […]

Apothetae by Benedek Totth

“… wars occasion a certain natural selection among peoples, which plays a very important role in the gradual perfection of the human race, because victory is generally won by those peoples who are physically, mentally, and morally the strongest and who stand at a higher stage of culture.” – Lajos Méhelÿ: The Biology of War […]

My Anti-Gypsyism by Ákos Kele Fodor

My father was a lifeguard at the swimming pool in our small town, and every summer he tanned a darker brown than you ever would have thought possible. Not like most Hungarians, not a flaky, reddish bronze, he was really the color of chocolate. He was proud of his brown skin, he liked to show […]

God, White, Man by Attila Bartis

Seven years ago, as fate would have it, I arrived in Indonesia for the first time in my life, on Vesak. Vesak is the celebration of the birth, enlightenment, and departure from earthly existence—or Parinirvāna—of Gautama Buddha. Parinirvāna cannot really be called death, much like the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. From the perspective […]