bio

“With this de-centred storytelling, Selyem succeeds in creating a blank page for thinking about political trauma, history, and landscape, in what feels like a wholly new chapter in Eastern European literature” – The Calvert Journal

Zsuzsa Selyem is a novelist and works as Associate Professor of 20th century Hungarian literature and comparative contemporary literature at Babes-Bolyai University Cluj, Romania. She studied mathematics, Hungarian and English literature at the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj and earned her PhD in Aesthetics at ELTE, Budapest, Hungary. In the last few years she has studied literature from the point of view of Ecocriticism and Animal Studies. Her short story “Confectionery 1952” was published in the volume BEST EUROPEAN FICTION 2017 at Dalkey Archive Press, USA and “Danube 1954” was nominated for Pushcart Prize XLII by World Literature Today. Her novel entitled It’s Raining in Moscow, translated by Erika Mihálycsa and Peter Sherwood was among the 75 notable translations of 2020 according to World Literature Today.

Publications in English

books in Hungarian

  • Az első világvége, amit együtt töltöttünk [The First Apocalypse We Spent Together. Short stories] Budapest: Jelenkor Publishing, 2020.
  • Moszkvában esik [It’s Raining in Moscow. novel] Budapest: Jelenkor Publishing, 2016.
  • Fiktív állatok. A rezisztencia irodalmi formáiról. [Fictitious Animals. On the literary forms of resistance] Cluj: University Press, Bolyai Society. 2014.
  • Mire vársz. Short stories. Miercurea Ciuc: Bookart. 2009.
  • Erdei politika. Political essays. Cluj: Koinónia. 2009.
  • Fehérek közt.  Budapest: Vigilia. 2007.
  • 9 kiló. Történet a 119. zsoltárra[novel] Cuj: Koinónia. 2006.
  • Szembe szét. Humor és szentség összefüggése Esterházy Péter prózájában. [Homeylies. The  Relationship between Humour and Sanctity in Péter Esterházy’s Prose] Cluj: Koinónia. 2004.  
  • Valami helyet.[A Place] Essays and Studies. Budapest: József Attila Kör – Kijárat. 2001.

German

  • Regen in Moskau. Aus dem Ungarischen von Eva Zador. Nischen Verlag, Wien, 2018.
  • 9 kilo (Geschichte zu Psalm 119)Aus dem Ungarischen von Agnes Relle und Werner D. Stichnoth, Merz & Solitude, Stuttgart, 2006.
  • Monte Carlo. Aus dem Ungarischen von Agnes Simon. In: Jean-Baptiste Joly (Hg.):Was machen sie dort am Schloss?Akademie Schloss Solitude, Merz&Solitude, 2006. 202-207.
  • Der Roman, in dem “die Neunte Symphonie zurückgenommen worden sei” Über die Funktion der Rücknahme in den RomanenLiquidation von Imre Kertész bzw. Doktor Faustus von Thomas Mann. Weimarer Beiträge. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft, Ästhetik und Kulturwissenschaften. 1/2006. pp. 63-81.
  • BrokenAus dem Ungarischen von Kinga Hajdú. In: Siegender Dachs: Wem gehört Siebenbürgen? Koinónia Verlag, Klausenburg, 2006
  • Das Grose Essen, Grand Hotel, Roter Riese etc. Aus dem Ungarischen von Agnes Relle und Werner D. Stichnoth. Freitag, 23. Februar 2007.http://www.freitag.de/pdf-archiv/Freitag-2007-08.pdf

Romanian

French

  • 9 kg. Récit sur le 119e psaumeTraduit par Emőke Simon, révision par Gerard Gâcon. Lyon: Jacques André Editeur, 2011.
  • Être objet, être sujet. Les enjeux de la personnalité chez Imre Kertész. Traduit du hongrois par Clara Royer. Lignes, 2017/2

awards and fellowships

2021 – Baumgarten Memorial Prize

2016 – Déry Tibor Prize

2015 – Writer in residence, Landys & Gyr Stiftung, Zug, Switzerland

2008 – Nívó Award for essay  awarded by the literary magazine LÁTÓ
2006 – The representative of Hungary at the European First Novel Festival, Budapest
2005 – Writer-in-residence, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany
2004 – Schöpflin Aladár Fellowship for Minority Hungarian Critics
2002-2003 – Ernst Mach Research Fellowship, University  of Vienna
1998 – Móricz Zsigmond Fellowship for Young Hungarian Writers

interview

“What a charming dude is our neighbour”: Zsuzsa Selyem in conversation with Erika Mihálycsa