Bianca Bellová

The Lake

Jezero
Language: Czech
Title: Jezero
Place: Brno
Publisher: Host
Year: 2016
Pages: 192
Genre: Literary fiction
ISBN: 9788074917714
Awards
 2017 European Union Prize for Literature
 2017 Magnesia Litera – Book of the Year
Foreign rights
Pluh
W: http://www.pluh.org
E: info@pluh.org
Contacts
E: biancabellova@gmail.com
Goodreads rating
83.6% (Rated by 170 users)

A fishing village at the end of the world. A lake that is drying up and, ominously, pushing out its banks. The men have vodka, the women troubles, the children eczema to scratch at. And what about Nami? Nami doesn’t have anything but a granny with fat arms. And a life ahead of him — a first love that is taken from him by Russian soldiers, and then all the rest of it. But if a life can begin at the very end of the world, maybe it can end at the beginning. This story is as old as humanity itself. For its hero — a boy who embarks on his journey with nothing but a bundle of nerves and a coat that was once his grandad’s — it is a pilgrimage. To get to the greatest mystery, he must sail across and walk around the lake and finally sink to its bottom.

Praise

“You will read Bianca Bellová’s raw, ruthless, apocalyptic prose with astonishment. It’s a stubborn and prickly book, which resists the reader until the last sentence, yet you won’t be able to put it down. Such a confidently and authentically written work with a clear intention, precise and seamless, deserves awards.”

— Kateřina Kadlecová, Reflex

“Bianca Bellová has enriched Czech literature with a harsh dystopia, one of the most remarkable books of recent years.”

— Alena Slezáková, MF Dnes

“Bianca Bellová’s novel The Lake is an archetypal story of the coming of age of a young hero who fights his way out of a tough environment as he searches for his roots in the contaminated soil of his devastated lakeland home. While the depiction of the post‐Soviet landscape is symbolic and metaphorical, the method of narration is harshly realistic. Nami, the boy, is reminiscent of the hero of Kosiński’s The Painted Bird or picaresque scoundrel characters in the prose of Jáchym Topol. Unsentimental, savage, yet somehow maternal, Bianca Bellová’s sensuous vision and approach are wholly original, and they serve up an extraordinary reading experience.”

— Jiří Peňás, critic and columnist

Read an excerpt

The Lake English

Language: Czech
Title: Jezero
Place: Brno
Publisher: Host
Year: 2016
Pages: 192
Genre: Literary fiction
Awards
 2017 European Union Prize for Literature
 2017 Magnesia Litera – Book of the Year
Foreign rights
Pluh