A Kingdom of Souls
by Daniela Hodrová
Translated by Véronique Firkusny and Elena Sokol
Introduction by Elena Sokol
“Through playful poetic prose, imaginatively blending historical and cultural motifs with autobiographical moments, Daniela Hodrová shares her unique perception of Prague. A Kingdom of Souls is the first volume of this author’s literary journey — an unusual quest for self, for one’s place in life and in the world, a world that for Hodrová is embodied in Prague.”
From the introduction by Elena Sokol, Professor Emerita of Russian Studies at The College of Wooster, Ohio.
“This English translation took almost a quarter of a century to complete, but it was worth waiting for. The immersive poetic quality and complex polyphonic structure of the original have been painstakingly preserved.”
— Andrei Rogatchevski,
“A Kingdom of Souls is a dark and elusive novel, but it is also seductive. Hodrová's precise expression (in this fine translation) and unexpected perspectives make for an impressively disturbing, compelling text.”
“[…] the entire city of Prague and its genius loci is, in fact, the central character, not just in The City of Torment trilogy but in all of Hodrová’s fiction. It is hoped that English speaking readers will soon get the chance to read the other two books in the remarkable trilogy”
— Julia Sherwood,
“This is an extraordinary book — erudite, moving and poetical.”
— Zoe Brooks,
“A Kingdom of Souls (1991, translated 2015 – significantly by two excellent female translators[…]), is a beautiful portrait of [Hodrová’s] city – memories, histories, haunting images.”
— Heather Reyes,
An excerpt from A Kingdom of Souls won the 1992 Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing.
Daniela Hodrová won the 2012 Franz Kafka Prize and the 2011 Czech State Award for Literature.