About the Book
By the age of 40, the Hungarian János Szenti has survived both world wars and has rebuilt his life in Córdoba, Argentina. Upon arriving to his new country, he keeps silent what Alex Appella’s grandfather─János’ brother─also kept silent when he immigrated to the USA in 1931. Unable to discover the truth, in 1994 a young Alex travels to Argentina to knock on János’ door with questions only he can answer. János is incorrigible and strict, Alex is free-spirited and determined. For the first time since escaping from Europe, János decides to reveal all that he has hidden from even his children and grandchildren. János is terrified of finally speaking, but he is even more fearful of what could be lost by his silence. “For me, to rebel is to remember and to pass on those memories.” Together, János and Alex─a most unlikely duo─embark on a mysterious journey through time and across continents. It is an odyssey that breathes life into, and transforms, all that János dare not take to the grave. 22 years in the making, The János Book illuminates a tragic past in a mesmerizing new format: frothing pages of layered collages that weave Alex’s documentation with János’ courageous testimony. “Life is like water,” Janos assures us. Flowing, expanding, seeking...insisting that this story not only be told, but that it be told in a revolutionary voice that enables the reader to do the same: Flow. Expand. Seek.
Historical Nonfiction. Memoir.
Alex Appella was born and raised in Oregon, USA. She began binding her own writings on a boat in Alaska before taking her creations to the streets and plazas of Latin America. What began as a temporary solution within a nomadic lifestyle has turned into a way of life. Alex now writes and binds from her home in the sierras of Córdoba, Argentina. Her artist’s books can be found in special collections in libraries and universities across the USA. Since 2001 she and her husband, Magu Appella, have run www.TransientBooks.com, an online bindery that offers custom book binding services worldwide.