(born April 2, 1933) is a Hungarian
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...
novelist and essayist, known as an advocate of individual freedom. He was a dissident
A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When dissidents unite for a common cause they often effect a dissident movement....
under the communist regime.
Konrad was born in Berettyóújfalu
Berettyóújfalu is a town in Hajdú-Bihar county, in the Northern Great Plain region of eastern Hungary. It is named after the river Berettyó.-Geography:It covers an area of and has a population of 16,107 people .-External links:*...
, near Debrecen
Debrecen , is the second largest city in Hungary after Budapest. Debrecen is the regional centre of the Northern Great Plain region and the seat of Hajdú-Bihar county.- Name :...
into an affluent Jewish
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...
family. He graduated in 1951 from the Madách Secondary School in Budapest, entered the Lenin Institute and eventually studied literature, sociology and psychology at the Eötvös Loránd University. In 1956 he participated in the Hungarian Uprising
The Hungarian Revolution or Uprising of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956....
against the Soviet occupation, but did not kill anybody, although he had a gun.
First working at the Budapest Institute of Urban Planning and later the Academy's Institute for Literary Scholarship, he had a collision with the political system and lost his position, was jailed for some time, as well as being under a publication ban
A publication ban is a court order which prohibits the public or media from disseminating certain details of an otherwise public judicial procedure. In Canada, publication bans are most commonly issued when the safety or reputation of a victim or witness may be hindered by having their identity...
during most of the 1970s and early 1980s.
From 1982 to 1984 he lived in Berlin on a stipend. In 1990 he was elected president of International PEN
PEN International , the worldwide association of writers, was founded in London in 1921 to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere....
serving until 1993, and in 1997 he was the first non-German to become president of the Akademie der Künste
The Akademie der Künste, Berlin is an arts institution in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 1696 by Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg as the Prussian Academy of Arts, an academic institution where members could meet and discuss and share ideas...
He has published a number of essays on politics, literature and sociology, as well as fiction. One of Konrád's most significant novels is The Case Worker
, a bleak portrait of human suffering in modern urban industrial society, written from the perspective of a social services functionary. A Feast in the Garden
and The Stone Dial
are the first two parts of a semi autobiographical fictional trilogy.
In 1985 he received the Prix européen de l'essai Charles Veillon for Antipolitik. Mitteleuropäische Meditationen.
In 2001 he received the Charlemagne Award of the city of Aachen
Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...
In 2003 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Novi Sad
The University of Novi Sad is a university located in Novi Sad, the capital of Serbian province of Vojvodina and the second largest city in Serbia....
In 2007 Konrád won the National Jewish Book Award in the Biography, Autobiography & Memoir category, for A Guest in my Own Country: A Hungarian Life
He was a friend to the Polish
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...
intellectualist - writer Stanisław Lem and politician Władysław Bartoszewski.
- The Case Worker
- The City Builder
- The Loser
- A Feast in the Garden
- The Stone Dial
- The Intellectual on the Road to Class Power (1978), with Iván Szelényi
Iván Szelényi is a noted Hungarian-born American sociologist, as of 2009 the William Graham Sumner Professor of Sociology at the Yale University.- Biography :...
- The Melancholy of Rebirth (1995)
- The Invisible Voice: Meditations on Jewish Themes
- A Guest in My Own Country: A Hungarian Life (2003)
- “The Intelligentsia and Social Structure”. Telos 38 (Winter 1978-79). New York: Telos Press.