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|Born||October 18, 1976
|Known for||Writing, Photography, Travel|
David Rozgonyi (born in 1976 in Libya) to Tibor Rozgonyi, a professor and mining engineer, and Agnes Somkuti Rozgonyi, a portraitist. Both parents were Hungarian nationals, and the family moved from Libya to (then) West Germany before relocating to Socorro, New Mexico, USA and later to Bryan, Texas, USA, where the family was naturalized as United States citizens in 1986. In 1990, the family relocated to Wollongong, NSW, Australia, where they lived until 1994. In 1994, Rozgonyi moved to Sydney, where he enrolled at the University of Sydney in pursuit of a degree in Psychology. However, when the family decided to relocate to Denver, Colorado, one year later, Rozgonyi transferred to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he lived from 1996 until 2007. He has one half-brother, Laszlo Szigeti, who is the retired director of a German coal mine.
Although an avid reader since childhood, Rozgonyi did not begin writing until late 2001. Undirected and uncertain in his path, he dropped out of university and drifted through a variety of fields and interests in which he achieved limited success. These included playing the piano and alto saxophone in a variety of small jazz and blues ensembles, and billiards, earning 2nd Place in the international VNEA World Artistic Pool Challenge in Las Vegas, Nevada (1997). He turned to travel in the same year, and began collecting the experiences that would later inform his work.
Rozgonyi wrote seriously for the first time in August 2001. The resultant manuscript, entitled "Dwellers in the House of the Sun," failed to find a publisher, however it garnered an excellent editorial response from many, and secured him a New York literary agent. Emboldened, he continued to write and publish stories and the occasional article for small magazines around the country. Between 2004 and 2006, he served as the Fiction Editor for two literary journals, MATTER Journal and Many Mountains Moving.
Goat Trees: Tales from the Other Side of the World
Rozgonyi is the author of Goat Trees: Tales from the Other Side of the World (Wolverine Farm Publishing 2006; ISBN 0-9741999-6-6), a collection of short fiction written in and about places as diverse as Cambodia, Hungary, Japan, the South Pacific, China, and northern Africa. The collection was critically well-received: "Never have knowledge and art been so craftily distributed in a series of travel stories",. The collection was also long-listed for the 2006 Believer Book Award. The book is dedicated to his ex-wife.
He has recently completed work on his next novel, Two Dolphin, a post-colonial critique of the West’s exploitation of the East set in Cambodia and told through the examination of the interactions between an ecovillage and a traditional Khmer village. The unfinished manuscript won the Fort Collins Arts Alive Fiction Fellowship (2007).
Themes of trans-national brotherhood, the similarity of humanity’s problems and the need for greater cultural understanding predominate and inform his writing. He also writes and speaks on independent, sustainable travel, Asia, and the dangers of cultural ignorance.
Rozgonyi has visited over fifty countries, including most recently India, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Germany (2006–2007); and Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia (2008), Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo (2009). He prefers backpacking, walking, motorcycling, or his vintage Volkswagen bus for transport, and has lived locally among the residents of many countries during his visits.
In September 2001, Rozgonyi married veterinary medical student Alice Green. During 2005, while living in Fort Collins, Colorado, he befriended fellow writer Elizabeth J. Gilbert. As the friendship deepened over the next year, his wife eventually asked for a divorce in July 2006. The divorce was finalized in November 2006. In December 2006, Rozgonyi married Elizabeth (Erzsebet) in a north Yangon monastery, and in February 2008, the couple thankfully expatriated themselves permanently from the United States. They maintain a residence in Pécs, a medieval city in the south of Hungary, as well as a small vineyard/orchard in the hills south of the city. They have no children.
- "Bookslut Review". Bookslut. July 2006.
- "Ink 19 Review; Pomeroy, Bob". Ink 19. June 2006.
- "California Bookwatch, Vol1, No3". Midwest Book Review. May 2006.
- "Believer Magazine Book of the Year Awards". Believer Magazine. 2006.
- "Arts Alive Fellowships 2007". Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. 2007-06-18.[permanent dead link]