The splendor and drama of India intrigue Hungarian cultural attaché Istvan Terey, but his criticism of corruption undermines his career
"A high-paced, passionate narrative in which every detail is vital."— Leslaw Bartelski
"[Zukrowski is] a brilliantly talented observer of life, a visionary skilled at combining the concrete with the magical, lyricism with realism."— Leszek Zulinski
Stone Tablets is a richly rendered novel of the plight of a Hungarian diplomat working in India in 1956. Istvan Terey serves as Hungarian cultural attaché in Delhi just a few months before his country is torn apart by the Hungarian Uprising. Though he is popular with Indians and Europeans, communists and capitalists, Terey's outspoken criticism of corruption in the Hungarian government and the embassy threatens to undermine his career. His religious convictions trouble, and ultimately destroy, his relationship with his Australian lover. A sweeping Cold War romance, a critique of Soviet Communism, and an exposé of tensions within the Warsaw Pact, Stone Tablets is based on the author's own experience as a Polish diplomat in India in the late 1950s, and is Wojciech Zukrowski's most famous novel. Stephanie Kraft's vivid translation unlocks this book for the first time to English-speaking readers.
A huge bestseller in Poland, Stone Tablets won the Pietrzak Prize for literature (1966), was named the most popular book in a poll of Polish booksellers (1974), and was made into a successful movie (1984).
Wojciech Zukrowski was one of Poland's best-known twentieth-century authors. A prolific novelist, screenwriter, and essayist, he worked at the embassy in New Delhi from 1956 to 1959. In 1996 Zukrowski won the Reymont Award for lifetime literary achievement.