About this book
Fever at Dawn
Elizabeth Szász • Péter GárdosReader's Guide ↓
Twenty-five-year-old Holocaust survivor Miklós is being shipped from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to Gotland, Sweden, to receive treatment at the Larbro Hospital. Here he is sentenced to death again: he is diagnosed with tuberculosis and his doctors inform him that he has six months to live. But Miklós decides to wage war on his own fate: he writes 117 letters to 117 Hungarian girls, all of whom are being treated in the Swedish camps, with the aim of eventually choosing a wife from among them.
Two hundred kilometres away, in another Swedish rehabilitation camp, nineteen-year-old Lili receives Miklós’s letter. Since she is bedridden for three weeks due to a serious kidney problem, out of boredom — and curiosity — she decides to write back.
The slightly formal exchange of letters becomes increasingly intimate. When the two finally manage to meet, they fall in love and are determined to marry, despite the odds that are against them.
Based on the original letters written by Miklós and Lili (ninety-six altogether), Fever at Dawn is a tale of passion, striving, and betrayal; true and false friendships; doubt and faith; and the redeeming power of love..
About the Creators
Elizabeth Szász is a freelance translator living in Budapest.
PÉTER GÁRDOS was born in Budapest in 1948. He is a multiple-award-winning film and theatre director. As a director he has received more than twenty international awards at major film festivals, among them the Jury’s Special Award at the Montreal Film Festival and the Golden Hugo at the Chicago Film Festival. Based on the true story of his parents, Fever at Dawn is his first novel.