The Hungarian poet, writer and translator Mátyás Dunajcsik was born in 1983 in Budapest. In 2011, he completed his studies at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest with a degree in aesthetics (art theory) and French language and literature.
Around 2000 he began publishing poetry and prose as well as essays – for example, on Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann, W. G. Sebald and Thomas Pynchon – in Hungarian periodicals. In 2007, he published his first book Repülési kézikönyv (tr. The Flyers’ Handbook), which comprised short stories and poems on the subject of travel by land, water and air. Dunajcsik’s protagonists are always fascinated by the eroticism of art and the art of the erotic, whether they’re on the road to Venice, discovering an Art Nouveau building in Budapest, searching for an antique book or taking a trip to Transylvania. Dunajcsik received the Sándor Bródy Prize for his debut and was described as an »outstanding representative of the younger generation of talented writers working in different genres […] this book definitively proves his skill in the realm of prose, while also displaying a tremendous level of sensitivity in his handling of personal relationships in a wide range of different worlds« (László Márton).
In 2009, Dunajcsik was a stipend holder at the Junge Akademie of the Berlin Academy of Arts. In this period, he joined with Mexican artist Plinio Ávila to create the book Der Boden unter Berlin (2010; tr. The Ground under Berlin), a booklet of 70 drawings on used U-Bahn tickets and a short story of a young man who loses his father, a former U-Bahn driver. Balbec Beach (2012) is a collection of 13 short stories.
In 2011, Dunajcsik joined the founders of Libri, a Budapest-based publishing house, as editor-in-chief of literary fiction until 2014, also working at the agency Sárközy & Co., where he represented Hungarian authors worldwide. Between 2014 and 2016 he has been living in Reykjavík, learning Icelandic language and literature on a grant. His children’s book A szemüveges szirén (tr. The Spectacled Siren) is inspired by his time in Iceland. Later on the book won the People’s Choice Award at the yearly competition for Best Children’s Book on the Hungarian review aggregator Moly.hu, and was adapted to a stage play by the author, premiered in March 2018 in Debrecen, Hungary.
Returning to the continent in the fall of 2016, he participated in the exchange program of the Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart and the József Attila Kör (JAK) for young Hungarian authors. Then after a brief period back in Budapest, he moved to Berlin at the end of summer in 2017. His first full-length book in German, the short story collection Unterwasserstädte comes out this fall in 2017, translated by Tímea Tankó and Lacy Kornitzer, published in the literature series of the Akademie Schloss Solitude, by Edition Solitude.
As of February 2018, he has settled for good in the beautiful city of Dresden.
He is also active as a translator from English, French and Icelandic, and has worked on the Hungarian translation of authors such as Robbe-Grillet, Wilde, Baudelaire, Saint-Exupéry, Nabokov, Andri Snær Magnason and F.S. Fitzgerald. Recently he started to play the langspil, a traditional Icelandic instrument, which he now often uses during poetry readings and performances, complimented by other stringed and percussion instruments, and electronics.