Sunday, May 20, 2007

Budapest book launch, by Dr. John Piper

The Budapest Launch of my novel Motherkillers was held in the Library of the University Institute on the West bank (Buda) of the River Danube. The room is a magnificent high ceilinged elegant nineteenth century venue lined by beautiful carved wooden cupboards containing treasured volumes, some of which are over 500 years old.

Odete and I were greeted by the Chief of the Library Dr Laszlo Magyar who showed us some of his treasures while the guests were arriving. Copies of the book were on sale and sold well, among those present were the Hungarian contributors acknowledged at the beginning of the novel. They had already received signed copies and had read them.

The Meeting was chaired by Dr Benedek Varga deputy director of the Semmelweis museum and he also did the translating for those who did not speak English. Most of the discussion focussed around Semmelweis’ mental condition and my views expressed in the book were supported. I read that portion of the book in which Semmelweis and Kolletchka discussed hand washing. The Professor of the history of medicine spoke at length on this subject. The novel was well received.

We were presented with a signed portrait of Semmelweis in later life, some beautiful pottery and a miniature 1861 copy of Semmelweis book on childbed fever written in German. Dr. Susan Turi, the head of Obstetrics at the Saint Rochus Hospital gave me a card in which she wrote “ I feel this masterpiece covers a wide gap which should have been done much before; anyway at last we have it”
(pictured above: Ignaz Semmelweis, 1/7/1818 - 13/8/1865)

No comments: