Yesterday – Agota Kristof

Yesterday everything was more beautiful
the music in the trees
the wind in my hair
and in your outstretched hands
the sun


Yesterday is the first book I read from Agota Kristof, and I think it won’t be the last one. Kristof is a Hungarian writer who lives in Switzerland and writes her books in French. She had a hard life, and there is no doubt that this affected her writing, so I must write about her a little more.

Yesterday - Agota Kristof

Born in 1935 in Hungary, Kristof is forced to leave her country at the age of 21. When the Soviet army suppressed the Hungarian revolution, there was nothing else for her to do but escape. Her husband, who was her history teacher at her school, and her four-month-old daughter ran to Switzerland. After five years of solitude and exile, she leaves her job at the factory and her husband. She starts to study French and write books in that language. She sounds fascinating, isn’t she?

Yesterday, a deep novella

Yesterday is a short and a highly remarkable book. It tells the story of a man who escapes his country and takes refuge in another country. Of course, after reading a little about the author’s life, one looks at the book differently. Yesterday will be a book that you will finish in a sitting, be surprised and think about for a while. It’s a novel about escaping a country, taking refuge in another one, getting used to it, or not getting used to it. It’s also an unusual love story. Kristof’s style is subtle. It’s like she doesn’t want to add anything else between the story and the reader. You’ll be missing a lot if you don’t check her out. Enjoy!

I had only one desire: to leave, to walk, to die, whatever. I wanted to get away, never come back, disappear, melt away into the forest, the clouds, no longer have memories, forget, forget.

Agota Kristof, Yesterday

About the book: Yesterday

Son of a whore and the local schoolmaster, Tobias flees the pressures of his village to the soothing anonymity of life in town and a job at the factory, but his carefully constructed world is shattered when Line, his childhood love, appears with her husband and young child.

About the author: Agota Kristof

Agota Kristof was a Hungarian writer who lived in Switzerland and wrote in French. Kristof received the European prize for French literature for The Notebook. She won the 2001 Gottfried Keller Award in Switzerland and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2008.

Yesterday - Agota Kristof

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World, A Great Journey

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