The Year of the Rooster, the new, autobiographical novel by Tereza Boučková is a candidly harrowing story of a woman searching for strength to rebuild her life which has ended in shambles. The twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac include that of a rooster and this is the sign under which the author was born fifty one years ago and which actually has just recently ended. Although it was to be the time in which “problems of the previous year will be set off by considerable improvement”, Tereza Boučková experienced just the opposite: her year saw a final breakdown of her fate-challenging, artificially set-up family as the genetic heritage, characters and after-effects of the previous psychic deprivation of her adopted sons came to a head in their pubescence starting a mad, incessant giddy-go-round of action and reaction affecting all involved who found it impossible to challenge.
The disintegration of the family which the author heretofore saw as her ultimate value was coupled with other disasters in the form of crisis of middle age and creativity. The recourse which Tereza Boučková seeks is painful and uncompromising, first of all to her self, and her writing is marked by humour, often quite broad and rough. While novel may seem to be a merciless ending of a story so mercifully started in her most significant prose Indiánský běh (Indian Run), in fact it may well be the other way round, for The Year of the Rooster develops from sheer hopelessness to a liberating courage.
“The Year of the Rooster is a powerful, readable, witty, tough, and crucial book.”
—Vojtěch Varyš, Unborn
“Finally, a book that cannot be laid aside, even after being finished. Finally, a text rolling rampantly, being swallowed quickly despite its very hot taste. The authentic diary entries have the incredible power of ancient drama, which, thanks to the author’s relentless fight for the sense of life, will perhaps allow her to experience catharsis in the end.”
—Tereza Marečková, Nový prostor
Selected published translations (4)
A kakas éve Hungarian
Das Jahr des Hahns German
El año del gallo Spanish
Rok Koguta Polish