Radka Denemarková

A Contribution to the History of Joy

Trans. Eva Profousová
Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Freude
Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Freude
Hoffmann und Campe, 2019, 336 pp
Language: German
Genre: Crime/Detective, Literary fiction, Prose
ISBN: 9783455005110
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A detective story, essay and mockingly comic accusation of the male obsession with the female body by one of the most celebrated contemporary Czech authors.

The body of a wealthy middle-aged businessman is found in his luxury villa in Prague. Initially nothing suggests foul play but the police have their doubts about the cause of this strange death. In the course of his tireless investigation, a perceptive policeman is led to a mysterious house near Prague’s Petřín hill inhabited by three extraordinary elderly women: a yoga instructor, a filmmaker and a teacher of creative writing. While the old ladies are away, the policeman sneaks into their house and in the basement discovers a vast archive of documents dating back to World War II. What connects the murder case with the three women and their treasure trove documenting thousands of cases of rape and abuse?

The main characters of this novel are three, or perhaps four, women – educated, bold and devoted to a higher justice by which the original duality of victim and perpetrator is lost.

Read an excerpt in The Guardian here.

Information about the original Czech edition

Příspěvek k dějinám radosti

Other selected published translations (3)

Przyczynek do historii radości Polish

Contributo alla storia della gioia Italian

Contribución a la historia de la alegría Spanish

Language: German
Title: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Freude
Place: Hamburg
Publisher: Hoffmann und Campe
Year: 2019
Pages: 336
Genre: Crime/Detective, Literary fiction, Prose
Foreign rights
Fritz Agency