Hungarian / Hungary
A muter meg a dzsinnek
(Mother and the jinns)
Kun, Fruzsina (illus.)
Budapest: Csimota, 2015. – 37 p.
Alcoholism | Personality change | Mother | Child
Reading age: 12+
White Ravens issue: 2016
What is it like if your own mother drinks? She loses all feeling of time, becomes aggressive, excessively euphoric and desperately sad. Her marriage falls apart and she neglects her child – these are predictable results. In Dóra Elekes’s taboo-breaking young adult book, the oppressive, suffocating atmosphere of living with an alcoholic parent breeds a mixture of emotions ranging from abandonment, shame, helplessness and guilt, along with both love and hate for one’s own mother. The author allows the reader to experience the dramatic situation only from the perspective of the child protagonist. Thus it is only gradually revealed that the various jinns (spirits) who, from the child’s perspective, have taken possession of the mother, are in fact the various symptoms of alcohol addiction. This scant 37-page-long foray into misery leaves us with an open ending: the child brings the drunk, shivering mother to bed and turns off the light.