No One Will Be There for Joska Atyin
Number of pages
Béla Osztojkán is a major figure of Gypsy literature
It is the day after a mysterious catastrophe has struck the inhabitants of a small Gypsy village. Eccentric centenarian—and supposed witch—Eszti Harangos had forewarned them, but nobody would listen. The villagers panic and take sides when everybody wants to give his or her own explanation of what happened. Jóska Àtyin, one of the voivodes—local leaders—is the only one who seems to believe Eszti. When the aged woman dies a few hours later, she leaves her young protégé, an orphan she had taken in, alone. As it turns out, it wasn’t the gods who decreed their ruin but the local town authorities, hoping to rid themselves of the undesirables in the community.
Bela Osztojkán weaves a tragic, poetic story in which past and present are intertwined. With an insider’s knowledge and insight into the lives of a Gypsy community, he explores questions of power and the tenuous cohabitation of traditional and modern societies.
Béla Osztojkan : Béla Osztojkán, a Hungarian Rom, was raised in the town of Csenger on the Romanian border. He was profoundly marked by his origins, and all his stories are set in the region where he grew up. A respected figure in the Gypsy cultural and political arena, he is the author of several novels, poems, and short stories. He received the Prix Bezeredj in 1997.
Éditions Fayard published these last two works of fiction just before his death in 2008.