She is a healthy seventy-one-year-old woman. He is a dying
eighty-two-year-old man. This couple, who have been united through the horrors of
twentieth-century Europe, and through the joys of love and family, cannot live up to the vows
they made nearly fifty years ago to stay together ‘until death do us part’: they will
die as one, never to be parted. On 13 October 1991 they take their own lives, together.
Sixteen years later, their granddaughter Johanna Adorján digs
through her family history to piece together the puzzle of the exotic and mysterious couple she
knew only in fragments. She dares to give voice to her grandparents’ experiences as
Hungarian Jews in the Holocaust, which her family has always labelled ‘something we
don’t talk about’. She learns, too, how these experiences have shaped her family and the
person she is today.
Not only a Holocaust memoir, An Exclusive Love is both a
love story and a journey of self-understanding; beautifully told, vividly depicted and emotionally
About The Author
Johanna Adorján is the author of several dramatic works,
including a screenplay filmed by Ed Herzog. Currently, she is an editor of the culture section of the
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and lives in Berlin. An Exclusive Love
is her first book.
I was very much moved by An Exclusive Love-such clarity of thought and feeling. What I think of Anthea Bell as a translator is little short of reverence, after what she did for W. G. Sebald: one trusts her absolutely, so I know for sure that Johanna Adorjan writes with beautiful precision and suppleness. It's a truly memorable book. -- Diana Athill, best-selling author of, Somewhere Towards the End
'In imagining what her grandparents' feelings and actions might have been on their last day, Adorjan hits upon a powerful dramatic structure that builds from the quotidian to the shocking...Sensitive, intelligent and profoundly moving, An Exclusive Love will leave you stunned.' * NPR *