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ISBN 978-1-909585-47-8
 first published June 2022; 338pp
paperback with endpapers; 210 x 135 mm
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Ágota Kristóf was born in Csikvánd, Hungary, in 1935. Aged twenty-one, Kristóf and her husband and four-month-old daughter fled the Soviet repression of the Hungarian Uprising to Austria and were resettled in French-speaking Switzerland. She began learning the language of her adopted country while working in a factory. Her first novel, The Notebook (1986), gained international recognition. Kristóf’s other work  included plays, stories and a memoir, The Illiterate (also available from CBe), as well as The Proof (1988) and The Third Lie (1991), which complete the trilogy begun with The Notebook. She died in 2011.

Ágota Kristóf  TRILOGY:
The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie


‘You know immediately that you are in the company of greatness.’
     – Gabriel Josipovici

Sent to a remote village for the duration of the war, two children devise physical and mental exercises to render themselves invulnerable to pain and sentiment. The Notebook distils the experience of Nazi occupation and Soviet ‘liberation’ during World War II into a stark fable of timeless relevance.

In The Proof and The Third Lie perspectives shift, memories diverge and identity becomes unstable as Claus and Lucas, isolated in different countries, yearn for the restoration of their lost connection. Written in Kristof’s spare, direct style, the novels are an exploration of both the after-effects of trauma and the nature of storytelling.

‘At the heart of this acrid trilogy . . . we can feel the author’s slow-burning rage at the wholesale erasure of certainty and continuity in the world of her childhood and adolescence. She will reassemble a shattered world on her own rigorous terms, and watch us wince and shudder in the process.’
     – Jonathan Keates, Times Literary Supplement

The Notebook is a great book, in the absolute.’
     – Beverley Bie Brahic, TLS ‘Books of the Year’

‘A stunning, brutal and beautifully written (and translated) book.’
     – George Szirtes

‘Both stylistically inventive and politically incisive, [The Notebook] is a book to worry readers for years.’
     – Eimear McBride, Financial Times

‘There is a book through which I discovered what kind of a person I really want to be: The Notebook, the first volume of Agota Kristof’s trilogy.’
     – Slavoj Zizek

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