Bestselling Czech author, Kateřina Tučková, will receive the Premio Salerno Libro d’Europa for the Italian edition of her novel Žítkovské bohyně (The Žítková Goddesses, 2012). The prize is awarded annually at the Letteratura Salerno festival to three European writers under forty who have had a book translated into Italian. This year, the festival will take place 16-24 June. The Italian edition of the novel, L’eredità delle dee, was published last year by Keller Editore and translated by Laura Angeloni.
Kateřina Tučková is an art historian, translator and writer who has been very well received by Czech readers over the past decade. The Žítková Goddesses, which has sold over 140,000 copies, is her best known book and has been translated into 14 languages. The novel is a fascinating tale of the female soul, magic and a part of Czech history kept hidden. A group of mysterious woman, known as goddesses, have lived high up in the White Carpathian Mountains. They are far away from everything, which is why it is said that certain women among them have succeeded in preserving knowledge and intuition the rest of us have lost. They have passed this knowledge down from generation to generation for centuries. Dora Idesová is the last of the goddesses. She is reluctant to accept an outdated way of life and to read the futures of those who come to her in drips of wax, as her Aunt Surmena did. But everything changes once she understands that her personal circumstances that she has always considered unhappy – being sent to a boarding school and hospitalization in an asylum – is part of a carefully thought-out plan.