A novella with the intense atmosphere of 1980s Communist Czechoslovakia in a district of Prague.
The author carries on the tradition of Czech prose from the working-class district of Žižkov in Prague. She brings 1980s Žižkov to life with a wealth of characters who have their own micro-stories: secret policemen, prostitutes, currency speculators, as well as children and abused animals – at one point they were all part of this district for the poor and marginalized, who spoke the language of the tenements. The main characters are schoolchildren from one class, on the threshold of adulthood, but at the same time on the margins of society. The novella portrays the difficult period towards the end of the communist regime through their eyes and voices.
“The Normalization jungle is ruled by predators who prey on the defenceless. The atmosphere is enhanced by the Prague slang used by both the characters and the narrator. And this language has been precisely observed, just as life in Žižkov during this period of great upheaval has been precisely captured.”
“Bohatá evokes the atmosphere of growing up in an area which is very far from harmonious, where latent as well as overt violence are constantly present.”
About the author:
Simona Bohatá (1965) is a novelist and writer of song lyrics. She studied at a secondary school specializing in economics and then graduated from the Ježek Conservatory in lyrics and screenwriting. She grew up in the Prague district of Žižkov in the 1980s, which is the setting for her novel Všichni sou trapný (They’re All So Lame, 2019). She described her childhood and adolescence in her debut work Máňa a my druzí (Máňa and the Rest of Us, 2017). She lives in a small village near Jindřichův Hradec.