“Beginning in reverie and a nostalgic glance back at the protagonist’s early life and dreams, Jana Juráňová’s Ilona. My Life with the Bard subtly shifts to a tone of gentle and increasingly piercing irony towards Slovakia’s national poet, with moments of almost nightmarish confinement, as it becomes clear that there was a heartlessness at the very heart of the burgeoning national liberation movements taking place throughout Central Europe, for they blatantly didn’t include half of the people they claimed to unshackle. Yet Ilona’s tenderness toward her husband, the loving eye with which she views the surrounding landscape and her determined if often uncertain attempts to insist on the significance of her life keep bitterness at bay.”
—Michael Stein, Literalab
That’s my blurb for Jana Juráňová’s novel, an excerpt from which was just published in B O D Y’s Saturday European Fiction in a translation by Julia and Peter Sherwood.
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