Noémi Kiss [ Hungary ]
Noémi Kiss was born in 1974 in Gödöllõ, north-east of Budapest. She studied Hungarian Studies, Comparative Literature and Sociology at the University of Miskolc, where she has worked as an assistant lecturer for Comparative Literature since 2000. She spent two years doing literary research at the University of Koblenz. Her doctorate thesis »Határhelyzetek. Paul Celan költészete és magyar recepciója« on the reception of Paul Celan's work in Hungary, was published in 2003, as was her essay collection »Tájgyakorlatok«. Noémi Kiss' writing is characterised by this literary background and displays a strong tendency towards gender theories. At the same time it shows great literary value.
Noémi Kiss was lauded by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as an »exegete of E.T.A. Hoffmann« and as »a new voice which is by now hard to ignore among the male voice choir of contemporary Hungarian literature«. Her story collection »Trans« (2008) begins with an E.T.A. Hoffmann motto about »the dark force« and draws the reader into an abyss of identity loss and transgression. Kiss shows, in six stories, a woman's search for her sexual role, for lust and excess, at times obscene and at times poetic. The first-person narrator is always a young Hungarian woman. In a run-down Kreuzberg bar a Polish transvestite strangles the barman's girlfriend in a fit of jealousy. In a döner restaurant in Frankfurt/Oder which is frequented by prostitutes and shady figures of all descriptions, the narrator decides to abort the unborn child of her Turkish boyfriend. Noémi Kiss examines transgressions from country to country and from gender to gender, from dream to reality: »The border is torn barbed wire, a section of wall, graffiti on the wall, a slogan, a sign, a message, a bridge or perhaps a body, because a border can also be the hand, the foot, the face or the head of another person.«
Her newest book »Rongyos ékszerdoboz« was published in autumn of 2009. Noémi Kiss has published numerous poems, essays, stories, reviews and articles in both German and Hungarian. She is an employee and editor of the journal »Új Holnap« and is a member of the Young Hungarian Writers' Club. She currently lives in Budapest.