Paprika Paradise: Travels in the Land of My Almost Birth

Paprika Paradise: Travels in the Land of My Almost Birth

by James Jeffrey

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For James Jeffrey, his mother's homeland of Hungary has always featured in family stories ? sometimes as a fairytale land, other times as an exotic parallel universe. It is a place where storks build nests as large as tables on chimney tops and grandparents live in suburbs called Uranium Town. People say 'hello? when they mean 'goodbye?, have no word for 'he? or 'she?, and bestow an almost godlike status on cakes and lard.

It is the country where James's mother, a volatile divorcee who could outflirt Zsa Zsa Gabor, and his father, a coal miner from a particularly sensible part of England, began an unlikely romance that lasted until the other end of the earth.

With his wife, children and still-warring parents in tow, James decided that the time had come to go back to Hungary. Their journey into the little-known paprika paradise is hilarious, thought-provoking and completely unpredictable.

'Joyous, illuminating and enchanting? Herald Sun

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780733630149
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Publication date: 08/01/2013
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Conceived in Hungary, born in England and raised in Australia, James Jeffrey is a STREWTH columnist with The Australian newspaper. James enjoys bagpipes and long walks in snake-infested bush; he holds an honours degree in Russian Studies and was deputy business editor of The Moscow Times. This is his first book.

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Paprika Paradise : Travels in the land of my almost birth 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Paprika Paradise is the first book by English-born Australian journalist, James Jeffrey. Jeffrey’s memoir deals mainly with his own family’s six month sojourn in Hungary, in the town of Pecs. He describes Hungary as the land of his almost birth: his mother, Eszter took the embryonic James to England, his father, Ian’s home, along with his half-brother Laszlo and half-sister Eszter, to start a new life in a free land. And after four years of Eszter snr “crying every night”, the family, including new baby Olivia, moved to Australia. This memoir contains plenty of laugh-out-loud moments: Jeffrey’s volatile mother, an expert in the art of the about-face, his hoarding aunt Joli, his somewhat reticent father and his drive-like-a-maniac cousin are all rich sources of humour. Jeffrey’s love for the country is apparent in his writing, although Eszter manages to counteract every positive with a negative: “Oh, this forest is so beautiful – you just have to be careful with the ticks. They can send poison into your brain and you die so horribly.” Add to this his observations on language, the food and the challenges for vegetarians (“The Iron Curtain might have vanished, but the Pork Curtain is safely intact”), the people, the architecture, politics and history, and the result is a very enjoyable read.