A Book of Memories is made up of three first-person narratives:
The first, that of a young Hungarian writer and his fated love for a German poet; we also learn of the narrator's adolescence in Budapest, when he experiences the downfall of his once upper-class but now pro-Communist family.
A second memoir, alternating with the first, is a novel the narrator is composing about a refined Belle Epoque aesthete, whose anti-bourgeois transgressions seem like emotionally overcharged versions of the narrator's own experiences.
A third voice is that of a childhood friend who, after the narrator's return to his homeland, offers an apparently more objective account of their friendship.
Together these brilliantly coloured lives are integrated into a powerful work of tragic intensity.
Peter Nadas was born in Budapest in 1942. Among his works translated into English are the novels A Book of Memories, The End of a Family Story, Love and Parallel Stories; a collection of stories and essays, Fire and Knowledge and two pieces of short fiction, A Lovely Tale of Photography and Peter Nadas: Own Death. He lives with his wife in Gombosszeg, Hungary.