Petra Hůlová

Guardians of the Civic Good

Trans. Marie Wenger
För medborgarnas bästa
För medborgarnas bästa
Rámus, 2013, 213 pp
Language: Swedish
Genre: Prose

Petra Hůlová sixth novel to date, and once again, she has a few surprises up her sleeve. This time, she accomplishes it through the piquant topic, describing today‘s Czech reality through “the eyes of the defeated“. Though her novel’s main character perceives the pre ’89 world as imperfect, it is still the best possible world out there. On the other hand, she views the subsequent transformation of the society as an era filled to the brim with so many lapses that he has an urge to actively – perhaps even violently – impose her idea about public good on others.

The novel, a dark grotesque, which points out that everything can be perceived from totally different perspectives – what for one person might mean new possibilities and freedom, yields anguish, desolation and a hopeless sense of chaos for others. Petra Hulová’s novels have never revelled in too much glee, this work, nevertheless, is even more unsettling than her previous ones because – even though taking place in the context of a single city and destiny – it paints a convincing picture of an absolute confusion of languages thwarting understanding between people.

More information in Swedish here.

Information about the original Czech edition

Strážci občanského dobra

Language: Swedish
Title: För medborgarnas bästa
Place: Malmö, Sweden
Publisher: Rámus
Year: 2013
Pages: 213
Genre: Prose