Hungarian writer, dissident Gyorgy Konrad dies at 86

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2017 file picture Hungarian writer, sociologist Gyorgy Konrad attends the funeral of Hungarian film director Karoly Makk in Budapest. Gyorgy Konrad died on Friday, Sept 13, 2019 at the age of 86. (Lajos Soos/MTI via AP)

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Gyorgy Konrad, a writer and sociologist who was an iconic figure in Hungary's dissident movement while the country was under communist rule, has died at 86.

Konrad's family said he had been gravely ill and died Friday at home in Budapest.

Known internationally for books like his 1969 novel "The Case Worker" and "A Guest in My Own Country: A Hungarian Life," a memoir published in 2007, Konrad was a steadfast advocate for individual freedoms.

Born into a prosperous Jewish family on April 2, 1933, in Debrecen, eastern Hungary, Konrad and his immediate family survived the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of numerous relatives.

He was president of the writers' association PEN International from 1990 to 1993 and president of the Academy of Arts in Berlin in 1997-2003.

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