Tereza Semotamová

In the Cupboard

Ve skříni
Ve skříni
Argo, 2018, 224 pp
Language: Czech
Genre: Literary fiction
ISBN: 9788025726556
Goodreads rating
70.6% (Rated by 76 users)

A tragicomedy about a young woman looking for her place in the world and finding refuge in an old cupboard in the middle of a town.

While living abroad, a young sculptor has to contend with an unhappy relationship and the unexplained death of her partner. Returning to her own country is difficult, not least because of her personal crisis: she has no reason to live or even a place to live. However, there is an old cupboard that her respectable sister has left in the courtyard to be thrown out. Having run out of other options, she moves into it. The metaphor of a longed-for place in the world culminates as her uncomfortable dwelling in the courtyard starts leaking badly. Many things can be blocked out, but not constriction at home or within yourself. The rich and lively use of language and the sense of the absurd, drama and farce, coupled with a strong command of narration, guarantee a high-quality read. This tragicomic story has unexpected depths.



“Semotamová’s first solo work of prose offers much more than just an idiosyncratic protagonist who comments with unmistakable cynicism on the rather cheerless drudgery of human life.”


“The novel eschews linearity, unity of form and clarity of interpretation, and the author certainly does not offer the reader a helping hand to lead them safely to the end. The book is alive with creative freedom. The author’s authenticity and prowess leave no doubt that she is the one making the rules.”


About the author:

Tereza Semotamová (1983) studied radio and television dramaturgy and screenwriting at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno and German language and culture at Masaryk University in Brno. She received her doctorate from JAMU in Brno for her dissertation on German radio plays from the 1950s. She currently devotes her time to translating German literature, journalism and her own writing. She contributes to the Czech-German website for the Goethe Institute in Prague and has written dozens of radio plays for Czech Radio. In 2015 she published her debut novel, Počong anebo O pinoživosti lidské existence (Pochong or On the Drudgery of Human Existence), which she wrote with Jakub Vítek. Her novel Ve skříni (In the Cupboard) was published in 2018 and was nominated for a Magnesia Litera prize in the prose category.

Selected published translations (1)

Im Schrank German

Language: Czech
Title: Ve skříni
Place: Prague, Czech Republic
Publisher: Argo
Year: 2018
Pages: 224
Genre: Literary fiction