The Grand Novel Budapest was presented by a cultural history lunch, giving the opportunity for the locals to sit at one table at Kristály Színtér on Saturday.

„The shape of Budapest is determined by the mood of the person watching it.

Come, come, whoever you are, create a Budapest.”

Péter Esterházy

A city is not built by bricks, but by the stories of its inhabitants. Budapest belongs to all of us, our personal experiences make it the way we see and love it.

The wonderful green room of the Grand Novel Budapest became a meeting place of both readers and authors who came to the festival, where visitors had the chance to share stories with each other. It was also possible to have a look at some of the most important sources of local history research in Budapest, in addition to immortalizing the meetings with Polaroid pictures while listening to the introductions by the authors of the Grand Novel Budapest over the phone.

The core of the first public event of the Grand Novel Budapest was storytelling and sharing familiar atmospheres, tastes and memories with the help of artists and urban researchers. Civilian storytellers were also invited to the event.

Kata Szeder had a talk with István Tasnádi, the dramaturg of the volume, and András Török, the author of the Budapest Book on how the life and the history of a city can be captured through the experiences and stories of those who live in it or those who pass through it, or even through its smells, colors, sounds, characteristic literary or cinematic works.

Visitors had the chance to meet Tibor Bosznai, the managing director of Hadik Café, and Barbara Marcsa, the production manager of Gólem Theater, who told them about their personal relationship with café culture and gastronomy.

With the help of László Valuska, it was possible to peek into Zsófi Mautner’s kitchen and taste her babka. Zsófi told us which nation’s gastronomy  inspires her the most while cooking.

Guests could accompany pianist Krisztián Oláh on the most important stages of his professional journey. László Katona and Péter Scherer entertained the audience while they could enjoy the freshly cooked Grand Novel Budapest ragu and goulash in the company of András Cserna-Szabó and Noémi Saly. The civilian guests also shared their experiences with each other and the audience.

Dominika Szabó, head of the Grand Novel Budapest civic research, talked to opera singer Zsuzsanna Kapi. She was selected from among those who shared their civic stories and was asked about the opportunities Budapest can offer to young, up-and-coming artists.

The music was provided by bar pianist Gyula Nyári, President of the Association of Hungarian Bar Pianists.

The event was jointly organized by Kultúrkombinát and Budapest Brand.


About the Grand Novel Budapest

Budapest is creating a large-scale literary piece for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Pest, Buda and Óbuda. The joint creative process of 23 contemporary Hungarian writers and the city’s 23 districts began last November. As a result of this mutual work, the 23-chapter long Budapest Great Novel will be published in November 2023.

The authors and the districts

District I.: András Cserna-Szabó

Disctrict II.: Dénes Krusovszky

District III.: Miklós Vámos

District IV: Andrea Tompa

District V.: Imre Bartók

District VI.: Renátó Fehér

District VII.: Zsófi Kemény

District VIII.: Edina Szvoren

District IX.: Márton Simon

District X.: Réka Mán-Várhegyi

District XI.: Gabriella Nagy

District XII.: János Háy

District XIII.: Gábor Németh

District XIV.: Krisztina Tóth

District XV.: Orsolya Karafiáth

District XVI.:  Noémi Kiss

District XVII.: Krisztián Grecsó

District XVIII.: Mátyás Dunajcsik

District XIX.: Péter Závada

District XX.: Anna Szabó T.

District XXI.: Noémi Szécsi

District XXII.: István Kemény

District XXIII.: György Dragomán

Author workshops

The 23 contemporary writers who were invited to write their district chapters developed the rules of the creative process under the dramaturgical guidance of István Tasnádi during the February workshop. In March, they prepared a synopsis of their stories about the districts.

The structure of the upcoming work and the next steps of the creative process were discussed at a new workshop on April 12th at the Tompa17 cafe. The topic was how the 23 texts can be synthetised based on the connecting possibilities and motifs of the texts.

Visit the Grand Novel Budapest website!

By exploring the new website, visitors can trace the birth of the volume, find out what connection the authors have with their district, and read exciting news on the steps of the creative process. It is also possible to look into the materials of the civil history collection and local history research.

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Budapest, the Grand Novel Budapest project is being realised within the framework of the Book Capital program, in cooperation with the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library. It is also supported by the Creative Europe Fund and with the professional assistance of the organizers of the Margó Literature Festival. The completed book is going to be published by Budapest Brand.




Timea Tegyi / 20 382 2657 /