by Csilla Toldy
An extract from a coming of age novel, Bed, Table, Door, forthcoming from Wrecking Ball Press, UK, in 2022, about a Hungarian couple, Sofie and Samu, who escape from socialist Hungary to England during the Thatcher era. Sofie has translated a dissident manuscript into English. On their last visit to Samu’s hometown, the paper fell into the hands of Samu’s father, an officer of the Hungarian People’s Army. Now, Sofie feels the police are following her. After weeks of preparation the couple meet at the railway station, Sofie is ready to go, but Samu admits that he has given his red passport, valid for the Eastern Bloc, to his blood brother, Zoli. In this part of the story, Sofie feels utterly let down by Samu and decides to leave on her own, following the route they have planned through Yugoslavia, where there is a “hole” in the Iron Curtain and their passage would be less dangerous, getting them over to the West through the green borders of Italy. Samu is left behind at the railway station, stupefied.
Csilla Toldy moved to the UK with a writer’s visa in 1996. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of Sheffield. Her publications include Red Roots - Orange Sky, The Emigrant Woman’s Tale, Vertical Montage (Lapwing Belfast) and Angel Fur and other stories (Stupor Mundi).