Stork Twenty Questions – Noémi Szécsi


Noémi Szécsi is at the heart of the new generation of Hungarian authors. In October 2012 we published Noémi’s first novel The Finno-Ugrian Vampire (Finnugor vámpír, 2002), translated by Peter Sherwood. In 2009 Noémi won the European Union Prize for Literature for her second novel Kommunista Monte Cristo (‘The Communist Monte Cristo’, 2006). The Finno-Ugrian Vampire has been selected for the 2012 European Literature Night. Noémi’s website.


1. What is your happiest memory?

I am a pessimistic person, so I usually cradle my unhappiest memories. But I store the events with the Stork Press ladies among my happy memories.

2. If you could be a superhero, what kind of superpower you would like to have?


3. What do you do when you are sad?

I look for tranquillizer in the medicine chest, but I never find any, for I never have tranquillizer at home.

4. Describe yourself in five words.

Insecure, sentimental, conceited, selfish, odd.

5. How would your friends describe you?

Well, I don’t now. Maybe they see me as a very distant person who can be surprisingly warm-hearted on occasion.

6. What are you proud of?

My beautiful daughter, my handsome husband and some of my novels.

7. Would you like to go into space?

Definitely no.

8. What makes you angry?

Oh, my god! So many things! I have a quick temper. But generally I hate when people lie to me or when they don’t keep the deadlines.

9. If you had six months left to live, how you would spend the time?

I would move to Paris to learn decent French before I die.

10. What are you afraid of?

Well the list is long, but most of all: cats and critics.

11. Who did you want to be when you were growing up?


12. What is your favourite drink?

Green tea with buffalo grass (Tea vert zoubrovka by Kusmi Tea) or any kind of old port.

13. What do you do to remain sane?

Well, I wouldn’t say I am sane. At least not now. And I don’t have any idea, what should I do to regain my sanity.

14. Are you a cat or a dog person?


15. What are books for?

To keep me occupied.

16. What are the books that made the biggest impression on you last year?

As I never read fiction unless under serious pressure, I liked non-fiction books: Rupert Christiansen’s Paris Babylon, Diane Atkinson’s Love and Dirt, Harlam Lane’s When the Mind Hears.

17. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

Somewhere by the Atlantic Ocean. Maybe in Biarritz.

18. Do you remember your dreams, and if yes could you describe one of your dreams?

I have always had such colorful dreams that my dad used to think I make them up. I usually use my dreams for my fiction, so I cannot describe any: they are needed in my novel.

19. If you were not doing what you do now, what would be your job?

I would be a chef of a small restaurant. But maybe I would start to write cookbooks in that case as well. I am a hopeless graphomaniac.

20. Where are you now?

In my bed.


Find out more about Noémi Szécsi’s The Finno-Ugrian Vampire.