Iva Pekárková, who is well-known for her exotic subjects, has this time chosen an average forty-something Czech woman, whose average marriage has just broken down in dramatic circumstances, as the chief protagonist for her latest novel Levhartice (Leopardess). But Milla deals with the situation in a rather unusual way: she takes off for Britain, where she cures herself of her feelings of worthlessness in the arms of men of all races and nations. Unexpectedly, one of her lovers takes her home as his “younger wife”; her new family is from Africa, but only the father was born there. Milla’s enthusiasm for this unknown culture is passed on to her children, little black English girls, who do not know anything at all about Africa. When this family also meets with misfortune then Milla with her joint wife and children deal with it this time African-style.
In a way that is unique for Czech literature this book deals with a phenomenon that is very common in today’s society: people are increasingly being enticed by foreign cultures while scorning their own, whether for good reasons or bad. This freshly written novel is full of humour and good times, even though it doesn’t always deal with cheerful matters and its view of life will delight and encourage many a reader.
“The horizontal tourism of Leopardess is better than all Shades of Gray.”
— Klára Kubíčková, MF Dnes
“Finally, the author wrote a book, which is not about pornography or eroticism, but about individuation—self-seeking and seeking one’s own place in the world.”
— Radim Kopáč, literary critic
In English with Jaroslav Balvín (1. 11. 2013)