The IAS annual theme of “Space and Place” allows Maria Rybakova to explore the interlocking motifs of location, dislocation and language in Sándor Márai’s and her own life and work. The presentation will be a meditation on four locations: San Diego, the chosen place of Márai’s exile and suicide (and Rybakova's place of work); Kassa (modern Košice) of Márai's youth, and Moscow of the 1970s; the Budapest of the 1930s and then back to San Diego to trace the intricate word imagery that started appearing to Márai in the interior space of his house in the years before his death.
Maria Rybakova is a Russian writer of fiction and poetry who is currently living in San Diego (USA). Her books are translated into German, Spanish, French and English and have received several awards. She is a recipient of multiple literary awards, including the "Russian Prize," the "Serguei Dovlatov" Award, "Anthologia" Award, "Eureka" Award and has been nominated for the international "Jan Michalsky" literary prize. She also teaches Greek and Latin.