The White King (2008) In a rushing stream of lucid language, 11-year-old Djata narrates a coming-of-age tale from somewhere behind the Iron Curtain, sometime before glasnost. Many of his… 2008-03-18 Fiction Houghton Mifflin
Book Review

The White King (2008)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Mar 18, 2008; Writer: Gyorgy Dragoman; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

In a rushing stream of lucid language, 11-year-old Djata narrates a coming-of-age tale from somewhere behind the Iron Curtain, sometime before glasnost. Many of his preteen traumas are universal — e.g., disorienting jolts of feeling for a classmate emitting ''that big-girl smell'' — while others are painfully specific to growing up in a dictatorship: Dad's doing hard labor in a prison camp, and radioactive winds from Chernobyl have a way of screwing up soccer practice. Author György Dragomá is a Beckett scholar, training that shows in his unsentimental way of staring blankly at towering absurdities through a child's eyes in The White King. B+

Originally posted Apr 18, 2008 Published in issue #988-989 Apr 25, 2008 Order article reprints