Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our September Author: Kati Marton

This month we are reading the Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America by Kati Marton. After finishing this memoir about her parents' struggles as journalists in Cold War era Hungary and noting Marton's own career as a journalist it is unsurprising to learn that she serves on the Board of Directors for the Committee to Protect Journalists and that she recently won an award from the United Nations Association for her human rights advocacy work. Her acceptance speech makes a good, brief self-introduction and is worth checking out. She draws parallels between the Hungarian Uprising and the Arab Spring, explains her motivations for her work with CPJ, and presents how she aims to connect past and present in her books. The Millions has an interview with the author where she summarizes,
This is a book about terror and surveillance and how the terror state functioned… which is by fear, which is by implicating the whole population, making everybody in a sense complicit in the way that it turned even our closest friends and relatives into informers. I think that is the theme. And how these two people, my mother and father, survived. More than survived. They survived with their heads held high.
Also, this short interview from Hungarian Watch shows Marton's attentiveness to on-going human rights issues in Hungary.  Amnesty covers current concerns here.

Below is a video interview from ForaTv. You may also want to check out a couple of interviews available as free iTunes downloads from the New York Public Library and Chautauqua Podcasts. I especially enjoyed the Chautauqua interview because it skipped past the information you already know if you've read the book kicking off, for example, with a question about the reception of the book in Hungary.

And just for fun, there is this exchange between Kati Marton and another Rights Readers author, Samantha Power (A Problem from Hell) discussing a different Marton book, The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World.

Finally, from a few months back, Marton contributed an editorial to the New York Times upon the capture of Ratko Mladic, the butcher of Srebrenica, reflecting on the bittersweet nature of this event, "a very good day for humanity" coming after the death of her husband, Richard Holbrooke, who had negotiated the end of the Balkan conflict.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...