Sándor Tar was born in the small southern town of Hajdúsámson in 1941. Though he worked most of his life in a factory as a toolmaker, he began publishing as a samizdat writer with the support of the democratic opposition. After his works appeared in the progressive journal Holmi, his career took off. One of the most highly respected novelists and short-story writers of recent years, he was as popular with his fellow writers as with the public. (Péter Esterházy is among his admirers.) He died on January 30, 2005, at the height of his popularity, leaving behind what many consider to be the best depictions of the human cost of the post-Kádár era. His publications include nine collections of short stories, among them A Mi utcánk (Our Street, Magvető, 1995) and Lassú teher (Slow Freight, Magvető, 1998), a novella, and a novel, the surrealistic political thriller Szürke galamb (Gray Pigeon, Magvető, 1996).