Radka Denemarková

A Contribution to the History of Joy

Příspěvek k dějinám radosti
Příspěvek k dějinám radosti
Host, 2014, 220 pp
Language: Czech
Genre: Crime/Detective, Literary fiction, Prose
ISBN: 9788072949632
Read an excerpt
Foreign rights
Fritz Agency
W: http://fritzagency.com/
E: info@fritzagency.com
W: http://www.denemarkova.cz/
E: denemarkovar@seznam.cz
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72.8% (Rated by 204 users)

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.


“Disguised as a crime mystery set in Prague and mixing fact and fiction, ‘A Contribution to the History of Joy’ is a passionate indictment of all forms of violence against women everywhere, spanning the past 70 years of history.”

—Asymptote Editors, The Guardian

“After finishing A Contribution to the History of Joy, the reader is overcome by a desire to thank the author.”

MF Dnes

Selected published translations (4)

Przyczynek do historii radości Polish

Contributo alla storia della gioia Italian

Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Freude German

Contribución a la historia de la alegría Spanish

Language: Czech
Title: Příspěvek k dějinám radosti
Place: Brno
Publisher: Host
Year: 2014
Pages: 220
Genre: Crime/Detective, Literary fiction, Prose
Foreign rights
Fritz Agency