Lenka Elbe


Argo, 2020, 400 pp
Language: Czech
Genre: Literary fiction
ISBN: 9788025732601
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Foreign rights
Argo publishers
W: http://www.argo.cz/
E: veronika.chaloupkova@argo.cz
Goodreads rating
71.8% (Rated by 104 users)

A thrilling, darkly comic novel set in a town with a long mining tradition.

The story’s main character is Henry Robotham, an Englishman in his 50s. In August 1968, his girlfriend Angela was in Jáchymov, tracking down her Czech ancestors, when she fell into a hole and vanished without a trace. Thirty years later, Henry’s therapist recommends he return to the town of uranium, silver and heinous political crimes. He does so in order to bring to an end once and for all the trauma which has plagued his soul for three decades. He is accompanied on his journey to the post-revolutionary Czech Republic by his neurotic partner Suzanne, all of which marks the start of a successful literary experiment combining fantasy, absurdity and horror.


“In addition to being entertaining and a pleasure to read, this novel also raises serious issues with an unobtrusive elegance. Lenka Elbe knows how to create original and distinctive characters and place them in situations where comic absurdity subtly transforms into mournful melancholy and vice versa.”


Uranova is remarkable because Lenka Elbe’s literary debut is not just another manifesto by the new generation, and it doesn’t even try to hold up the proverbial mirror to society. It is first and foremost a courageous genre experiment which doesn’t need to boast about its uniqueness.”

— MF Dnes

About the author:

Lenka Elbe (1979) lives in Prague, where she graduated in journalism and mass communication from Charles University. After a short spell as a journalist she began working in advertising and occasionally as a television screenwriter. The main theme of her work is freedom and the never-ending struggle against the dark forces which attempt to destroy it. In her writings she likes to combine reality with the world of fantasy. Her writing has been influenced by the works of Franz Kafka, Umberto Eco and Haruki Murakami. In addition to writing she is also involved in graphic design and photography. Her novel Uranova was chosen for the seventh Susanna Roth Award for beginner translators of Czech literature.


Language: Czech
Title: Uranova
Publisher: Argo
Year: 2020
Pages: 400
Genre: Literary fiction