Tibor Fischer

Last updated

Tibor Fischer at Krasnoyarsk, 2012 Tibor-Fischer.jpg
Tibor Fischer at Krasnoyarsk, 2012

Tibor Fischer (born 15 November 1959) is a British novelist and short story writer. In 1993, he was selected by the literary magazine Granta as one of the 20 best young British writers while his novel Under the Frog was featured on the Booker Prize shortlist.

Contents

Early life

Fischer's parents were Hungarian basketball players, who fled Hungary in 1956; first his father, György Fischer, and then his mother, the captain of the women's national basketball team. Tibor's father studied economics at Manchester University, [1] started work in the Hungarian section of the BBC taking the name "George Fischer," and ended up as Radio Four's head of talks and documentaries. [2]

Tibor Fischer was born in Stockport, England and grew up in Bromley, Kent, where he attended the local comprehensive school. He studied Latin and French at Peterhouse, Cambridge. [3]

Author

The 1956 revolution, and his father's background, informed Fischer's debut novel Under the Frog , about a Hungarian basketball team in the first years of Communism in Hungary. The title is derived from a Hungarian saying, that the worst possible place to be is "under a frog's arse down a coal mine." [4]

In 1992, the novel won a Betty Trask Prize for literature, and was the first debut novel to be shortlisted for the Booker prize. [3]

Fischer's subsequent novels include The Thought Gang , about a delinquent and alcoholic philosophy professor who hooks up with a failed one-armed bandit in France to form a successful team of bank robbers, and The Collector Collector , about a weekend in South London, narrated by a 5000-year-old Sumerian pot. Voyage to the End of the Room was published in 2003, and concerned an agoraphobic ex-dancer.

Good to be God was published by Alma Books on 4 September 2008. In it a broke, unemployed, "habitual failure" uses his friend's credit card to start a new life in Florida where he decides that the fastest way to make a fortune would be to start a religion. [4]

Fischer, in 2000, published a short story collection entitled Don't Read This Book If You're Stupid, published in the U.S. as I Like Being Killed: Stories.

Academia

In 2009, Fischer became the Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at City and Guilds of London Art School. [5] [6]

Politics

In April 2017, Fischer wrote an opinion piece in The Guardian where he defended Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán's government against charges of authoritarianism and "antisemitism." [7] In the same context, he rejected notions of the government going after the George Soros funded Central European University, arguing that the relevant and controversial amendment to the law on higher education affects some 28 foreign institutions, 27 of which were found to be operating with “irregularities” ("largely sloppy paperwork, something that will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with university admin") and that none has been fined or shut down. Fischer posits that the CEU "is not being singled out for punishment" but "asking to be given privileged treatment." [7]

In response to it, the newspaper received letters from CEU president Michael Ignatieff, Brian Dooley, of Human Rights First, and others, who expressed their opposition to Fischer's views, [8] arguing that the amendment requires the operation of a campus in CEU's country of origin, something that "would effectively make it impossible for CEU to operate in Hungary," and denying that the university has sought "special privileges." [8]

Works

Novels

Collections

Related Research Articles

The Booker Prize for Fiction, formerly known as the Booker–McConnell Prize (1969–2001) and the Man Booker Prize (2002–2019), is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. The winner of the Booker Prize is generally assured international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade. From its inception, only novels written by Commonwealth, Irish, and South African citizens were eligible to receive the prize; in 2014 it was widened to any English-language novel—a change that proved controversial.

Central European University Private Research University

Central European University (CEU) is a private research university accredited in Austria, Hungary, and the United States, with campuses in Vienna and Budapest. The university is known for its academic rigour and reputation, focus on the social sciences and humanities, research-intensive environment, and international student body. A central tenet of the university's mission is the promotion of open societies, as a result of its close association with the Open Society Foundations. CEU is one of eight members comprising the CIVICA Alliance, along with Sciences Po, the London School of Economics, and the European University Institute, among others.

Viktor Orbán Hungarian politician, chairman of Fidesz; Prime Minister of Hungary (2010-present)

Viktor Mihály Orbán is a Hungarian politician who has been Prime Minister of Hungary since 2010; he was also Prime Minister from 1998 to 2002. He has also been President of Fidesz, a national conservative political party, since 1993, with a brief break between 2000 and 2003.

Timothy Garton Ash British historian and author

Timothy Garton Ash CMG FRSA is a British historian, author and commentator. He is Professor of European Studies at Oxford University. Much of his work has been concerned with the late modern and contemporary history of Central and Eastern Europe.

Péter Nádas Hungarian writer

Péter Nádas is a Hungarian writer, playwright, and essayist.

Sebastian Faulks British journalist and novelist

Sebastian Charles Faulks is a British novelist, journalist and broadcaster. He is best known for his historical novels set in France – The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray. He has also published novels with a contemporary setting, most recently A Week in December (2009) and Paris Echo, (2018) and a James Bond continuation novel, Devil May Care (2008), as well as a continuation of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves series, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells (2013). He was a team captain on BBC Radio 4 literary quiz The Write Stuff.

Péter Esterházy Hungarian writer

Péter Esterházy was a Hungarian writer. He was one of the best known Hungarian and Central European writers of his era. He has been called a "leading figure of 20th century Hungarian literature", his books being considered to be significant contributions to postwar literature.

András Schiff Hungary-born British musician

Sir András Schiff is a Hungarian-born Austro-British classical pianist and conductor, who has received numerous major awards and honours, including the Grammy Award, Gramophone Award, Mozart Medal, and Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize, and was appointed Knight Bachelor in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to music. He is also known for his public criticism of political movements in Hungary and Austria.

George Szirtes poet

George Szirtes is a British poet and translator from the Hungarian language into English. Originally from Hungary, he has lived in the United Kingdom for most of his life after coming to the country as a refugee at the age of eight. Szirtes was a judge for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize.

<i>Under the Frog</i> book by Tibor Fischer

Under the Frog is British-born Hungarian writer Tibor Fischer's debut novel, it was published in 1992. The book was a winner of the 1992 Betty Trask Award and was the first debut novel to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

László Krasznahorkai Hungarian novelist and screenwriter

László Krasznahorkai is a Hungarian novelist and screenwriter known for difficult and demanding novels, often labeled postmodern, with dystopian and melancholic themes. Several of his works, notably his novels Satantango and The Melancholy of Resistance, have been turned into feature films by Hungarian film director Béla Tarr.

Miklós Vámos Hungarian writer

Miklós Vámos originally Tibor Vámos, is a Hungarian writer, novelist, screenwriter, translator and talkshow host, who has published 33 books.

Bernardine Evaristo British author and academic

Bernardine Anne Mobolaji Evaristo, MBE FRSL FRSA, FEA, is a British author of eight works of fiction. Her novel, Girl, Woman, Other, won the Booker Prize in 2019, British Book Awards: Fiction and Author of the Year 2020, and the Indie Book Award for Fiction 2020. It was also one of Barack Obama's 19 Favourite Books of 2019. In June 2020 she became the first woman of colour and the first black British writer to assume the No.1 spot in the UK paperback fiction charts. Evaristo's writing also includes short fiction, drama, poetry, essays, literary criticism, and projects for stage and radio. Two of her books, The Emperor's Babe (2001) and Hello Mum (2010), have been adapted into BBC Radio 4 dramas. She is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and the vice-chair of the Royal Society of Literature.

<i>The Collector Collector</i> book by Tibor Fischer

The Collector Collector is the third novel by British author Tibor Fischer first published in 1997, by Secker and Warburg in the UK and Henry Holt in the US. It has also been published in Canada and Germany. Mixed reviews appeared in many notable publications both in the UK and US, for example The Guardian, The New Statesman, The New York Times, The Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement, there being admiration for Fischer's wit and wordplay but a feeling that it lacked a real story. The novel also has been identified as one of the best of the 1990s.

György Dragomán Hungarian author and literary translator

György Dragomán is a Hungarian author and literary translator. His best-known work, The White King (2005) has been translated to at least 28 languages.

Tibor Várady is a legal scholar. He has also earned recognition as a writer. He was one of the founders of the Hungarian language avant-garde literary magazine "Új Symposion" published in Novi Sad (Yugoslavia) that was challenging political confines. Between 1969 and 1971 he was managing editor, and in November 1971 he defended the magazine in court proceedings aiming to ban the Új Symposion.

Diana Evans British novelist

Diana Omo Evans is a British novelist, journalist and critic who was born and lives in London. Evans has written three full-length novels. Her first novel, 26a, published in 2005, won the Orange Award for New Writers, the Betty Trask Award and the deciBel Writer of the Year award. Her third novel Ordinary People was shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction and won the 2019 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature.

Fourth Orbán Government

The fourth government of Viktor Orbán is the current Government of Hungary since 18 May 2018, after the 2018 parliamentary elections.

David Cornstein American businessman and diplomat

David Bernard Cornstein is an American businessman and diplomat who is currently serving as United States Ambassador to Hungary. He is from New York and his business background is in running gambling operations, high-end used jewelry, and telemarketing.

András Kovács is a Hungarian sociologist and historian. He is a professor at Central European University, Budapest, in the Nationalism Studies Program / Jewish Studies Program. Furthermore, Kovács is a Doctor of Sciences at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

References

  1. According to Fischer, "because his [father's] Hungarian accountancy degree wasn't taken seriously" in Britain: Interview" by Lisa Gee, 1997
  2. "Who's A Clever Boy Then - Interview with Tibor Fischer" by Lisa Gee, The Independent , 23 March 1997
  3. 1 2 Tibor Firscher, British Council - Literature
  4. 1 2 "Hay Budapest: Tibor Fischer just delighted to be himself" by Martin Chilton, The Daily Telegraph , 5 May 2012
  5. Tibor Fischer is the School's New Royal Literary Fund Fellow, City and Guilds of London Art School, Archived 4 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Fellow at City & Guilds of London School of Art, 2009/10, Royal Literary Fund, Archived 16 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  7. 1 2 "I don’t recognise Viktor Orbán as a ‘tyrant’" by Tibor Fischer, The Guardian , 20 April 2017
  8. 1 2 "Democracy and academic freedom in Viktor Orbán’s Hungary", Letters, The Guardian, 23 April 2017