Rita Taryan is a Hungarian-born Canadian-American writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked as a puppeteer, a security guard, a barmaid, a disc jockey, a tool and die worker and a translator. Currently, she teaches adult literacy and ESL in the Bronx Community ESL Program, which is a partnership between Fordham University and New York’s Department of Youth and Community Development. She also devotes her time to the English Language Institute Center for New Immigrant Education (CNIE), helping asylum seekers and resettled refugees. Her writing has appeared in Jewish Fiction .net, Room, and Culture, Art, News. She is a winner of a Norma Epstein Foundation Award for Creative Writing.
Taryan is currently working on a collection of short stories (tentative title: Alt-Katalin) whose common themes are Hungarian history and contemporary social issues; politics and class dynamics; antiziganism; anti-Semitism; homophobia; nihilism and activism; silence and language; and love and dying.
All of the stories take place in Hungary but the themes with which Taryan is working are timely and relevant to social and political dynamics the world over. Taryan’s stories are as much about what takes place in bedrooms and online as they are about what goes on in town halls and parliaments.
The rhythms Taryan explores, her love of rhyme and repetition, even her dark sense of humor come from early cultural learning and inspiration, and from her mother tongue. Taryan’s work is playful, inventive, irreverent and brutally serious.