by Sándor Márai
In a secluded woodland castle, an old General prepares to receive a man he has not seen in forty-one years, once his closest friend. Over the ensuing hours, host and guest fight a duel of words and silences, accusations and evasions. They exhume the memory of their friendship and that of the General’s long-dead wife. This taut and exquisitely structured novel conjures the melancholy glamour of a decaying empire and the disillusioned wisdom of its last heirs.