Alison Langley : Budapest Noir Ilona Gets a Phone

The latest addition to my website is Alison Langley‘s Budapest Noir Ilona Gets a Phone. Ilona is a sixty-one year old Hungarian woman. Communism has fallen and she is finally allowed a phone, previously denied as her husband had been killed in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Her son, Emil, had defected to the USA when still a minor and is planning to come to Budapest on a Fulbright scholarship. Ilona had been an aristocrat and the family castle had been confiscated but they can now get it back provided they compensate the current occupants – an old people’s home. Ilona is disappointed that Emil neither wants it or can afford it. We gradually learn Ilona’s grim past and sufferings, while Emil, a photographer, mounts an exhibition on the 1956 Revolution, something many Hungarians know little about. At the same time Ilona clashes with her daughter-in-law and cannot understand why Emil does not want to become an entrepreneur like her best friend’s son.

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