Rita Taryan

I am a Hungarian-Canadian writer and teacher living in Brooklyn, New York.


I have worked as a translator of Hungarian fiction and letters, as well as of advertising copy and editorials for the Hungarian-language newspaper, Menora.  I am a published poet and a winner of a Norma Epstein Foundation Award in Creative Writing.

Recently I completed my first novel Tünde and Tamara, which delves into the changing political climate in Eastern Europe.  The story centers around two sisters on opposite sides of the political spectrum in modern-day Hungary.  Tünde is the youthful Madonnaesque face of the new far-right and her sister Tamara is a foul-mouthed, chronically dyspeptic activist for the rights of the Roma. Tünde’s husband, Mr. Tünde, is a bipolar, would-be Johnny Depp who was twice-voted sexiest man in Hungary by Conservative Women’s Magazine.  He is having an affair with Tamara. Tamara’s husband, Mr. Tamara, is an alcoholic dissident law professor who fantasizes about his own execution by impalement.  When the hidden Jewish roots of Tünde and Tamara’s family are discovered, what follows is a suicide, a wedding, a revolution and dark childhood remembrances.

Tünde and Tamara is funny, irreverent and brutally serious about a new political reality in which the government controls the judiciary and the media; nepotism and bribery are rife; homelessness is a crime; anti-Semitism and anti-Roma sentiments are on the rise; and the far-right politics of the past have resurged. The parallels to rising authoritarianism elsewhere in Europe and in the United States are stark.

In the following pages, you will find excerpts from my book, and some information about my teaching work and how to contact me.   To get to those pages, click on the 3-line “hamburger” menu icon on the top right corner of the screen.