Like the renowned American writer Edmund Wilson, who began to learn Hungarian at the age of 65, Richard Teleky started his study of that difficult language as an adult. Unlike Wilson, he is a third-generation Hungarian-American with a strong desire to understand how his ethnic background has affected the course of his life. "Exploring my ethnicity," he writes, "became a way of exploring the arbitrary nature of my own life. It was not so much a search for roots as for a way of understanding rootlessness -- how I stacked up against another way of being." He writes with clarity, perception, and humour about a subject of importance to many Americans -- reconciling their contemporary identity with a heritage from another country.
About the author
a Professor in the Humanities Department of York University, is a critically acclaimed fiction writer, poet, and critic. His books include the novels Winter in Hollywood, Pack Up the Moon, and The Paris Years of Rosie Kamin (which received the Ribalow Prize and was chosen the Vermont Book of the Year); a collection of short fiction, Goodnight, Sweetheart and Other Stories; two poetry collections, The Hermit in Arcadia and The Hermit's Kiss; and a study of Central European culture and literature, Hungarian Rhapsodies: Essays on Ethnicity, Identity and Culture. He has also edited two fiction anthologies: The Oxford Book of French-Canadian Short Stories and The Exile Book of Canadian Dog Stories. His short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in numerous journals in Canada and the United States, and he is a contributor to Queen's Quarterly.