'This book can change your life' - Agnieszka Dale in Los Angeles Review of Books
An intoxicating, personal journey through 1,000 years of European culture where history’s losers bite back.
City of Torment is, on one level, a family and generational novel, conveyed through the complex voice of a first-person female narrator whose subjectivity becomes elaborately intertwined with the main protagonist, Eliška Beránková (Lamb). Eliška/Daniela is searching above all for her dead father, but also for her dead mother and ultimately for herself. At the same time, on a more abstract level, Hodrová introduces a feminine structural dimension to a theme especially prevalent in 20th-century prose – the novel as a self-conscious genre, openly exploring the relationship of the author to her text. Hodrová’s trilogy represents a distinct contemporary Czech voice in women’s experimental writing, a genre first introduced to anglophone readers by Virginia Woolf.
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