Recently, I sat down with prolific and long-time author, Stephen Vizinczey, to discuss his current novel titled 3 Wishes. Born in 1933 in Hungary, Stephen was two years old when his father was assassinated by the Nazis. During his student years, he wrote poems and plays. In 1965, he quit his job, borrowed money to publish his first novel, In Praise of Older Women, and distributed it by car and through the post.
Highly praised by Northrop Frye and the poet Earle Birney as well as other writers and critics, the novel became the first self-published novel to top the bestseller lists in the history of Canadian publishing. Its subsequent publication and success in Britain the following year drew worldwide attention and it became an international bestseller. Ever since, the novel has been regularly reissued in some of the twenty-one countries where it appeared, often in new translations, and in the past four decades has acquired a reputation as a modern classic. In 2001, In Praise of Older Women was described by Pierre Lepape in Le Monde as “a masterpiece… a dazzling novel…”. In 2004, it received the Elba Prize in Italy. It has been filmed twice: the Canadian film starred Tom Berenger; the Spanish version starred Faye Dunaway along with leading Spanish actors.