Anna Bolavá

Into Darkness

Do tmy
Do tmy
Odeon, 2015, 232 pp
Language: Czech
Genre: Literary fiction, Prose
ISBN: 9788020716224
Read an excerpt
 2016 Magnesia Litera – Prose
Goodreads rating
80.6% (Rated by 1043 users)

What Anna Bolavá achieved with this book happens very rarely: Into Darkness is her prose debut, yet everyone agrees that it has none of the common shortcomings of first novels. Bolavá uses a proven mainstream technique: take a loner, an outsider with an unusual hobby (collecting herbs in this case), and skilfully transform this innocent pastime into a functional and profound existential metaphor. From the beginning, this story of a lonely, ill woman who has dedicated most of her life to collecting, drying and providing medicinal plants, has apocalyptic undertones. Despite the slow, seemingly dispassionate pace, a strange unease bubbles under the surface.


Into Darkness is remarkably magical and powerful prose.”

Petr A. Bílek, Respekt

“Anna Bolavá has managed to construct a dramatic tale on the foundations of one person’s story, the symbolism and straightforwardness of its plot resembles a modern myth.”

Petr Nagy, iLiteratura

“It’s June, everything is in bloom, and Anna sets off into the surroundings on her old bike. The land around her house is full of medicinal herbs. Everything now has to be put aside: memories of her failed marriage, the curious death of her father-in-law, the loss of her job, her troublesome illness. The frantic pace of the harvest is not motivated by the base desire for income; the roots of Anna’s obsession go much deeper. The book has a strange tension; nothing is explicitly stated, so it is up to the reader to find the key. The reasons for the disaster which the main character/narrator is heading towards remain concealed within many portents and episodes.”

Magnesia Litera jury

Selected published translations (2)

W ciemność Polish

Do tmy German

Language: Czech
Title: Do tmy
Place: Praha
Publisher: Odeon
Year: 2015
Pages: 232
Genre: Literary fiction, Prose
 2016 Magnesia Litera – Prose