The color of smoke by Menyhert Lakatos

IMG_4469Set in Okany, Hungary. Reviewed on 2018/09: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bnw-wUtlq_G/

Based on data from the @holocaustmuseum in DC, more than 200,000 #romani were killed in #concentrationcamps during #wwii which accounted for 25% of European #romacommunities. Other reports put the total amount of dead people closer to a million. German #nazi laws considered #gypsies as the enemies of the race-based state in the same category with the #jews . Puppet governments in conquered countries and social stigma made it ripe for people to collaborate and support the killing machine. With #thecolorofsmoke #lakatosgives us a written testimony of the weeks and days right before the German invasion of Hungary. However Lakatos’ writing style is so picaresque, familiar and vivid that it doesn’t seem to strive for the specificity of the period. This is a #comingofage story which instead aims to allow everyone to heavily identify themselves with this #gypsyfamily regardless of your era or location. At the same time I think it’s a writing technique which allows you to remember the fact that systemic discrimination and racism against Romani communities continued to happen after WWII and until this day in European countries. Therefore the powerful and compelling text works both ways as a written memory but also as a relevant wake up call to all of us. #menyhertlakatos does not simplify the story for you and that means that he peppers the story with Romani, Hungarian words and even in other languages. You will need to check the glossary in the back assiduously and also research some historical events. However this is a pressing story which rewards your work and patience. Considering the anti-human rights witch hunt cementing itself on Hungarian politics and dare I say even society, Lakatos becomes now eerily clairvoyant and ominous. #highlyrecommended #romaliterature#hungarianliterature #menyhértlakatos#neweuropebooks #romanigenocide#füstösképek #semiautobiographical

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