Past Event

Sándor Jászberényi in conversation with William Pierce

The Most Beautiful Night of the Soul: More Stories from the Middle East and Beyond

Set mostly in contemporary Cairo and Iraq, as well as Israel, London, and Hungary, these twelve short stories are a staggering follow-up to those in the acclaimed collection The Devil Is a Black Dog by leading Hungarian writer/photojournalist Sándor Jászberényi. Told from the perspective of Cairo-based European war correspondent Daniel Marosh, The Most Beautiful Night of the Soul is, above all, about a journalist examining some of today’s most pressing Middle East conflicts and the lives of others even while forced to question his own assumptions and haunted by his own demons.

Sándor Jászberényi is a Hungarian writer and Middle East correspondent who has covered the Darfur crisis, the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, the Gaza War, and the Huthi uprising in Yemen, and has interviewed several armed Islamist groups. A photojournalist for the Egypt Independent and Hungarian newspapers, he currently lives in Cairo, Egypt. Born in 1980 in Sopron, Hungary, he studied literature, philosophy, and Arabic at ELTE university in Budapest. His stories have been published in all the major Hungarian literary magazines and in English in the Brooklyn RailPilvax, and BODY Literature. The release of his first collection of short stories, Az ördög egy fekete kutya (The Devil is a Black Dog), in late 2013–both in Hungary (Kalligram) and Italy (Anfora Editore)–was treated with much fanfare in his native land; for it marked the arrival of a distinctive new voice in Hungarian letters, one whose credible focus on timely international themes and settings carries the potential for a broad international readership.

William Pierce is the author of Reality Hunger: On Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle (Arrowsmith Press, 2016). His fiction and essays have appeared in Granta, Ecotone, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. He is senior editor of the literary and cultural magazine AGNI.