Literary Events in the Czech Republic

The Legátová Phenomenon
Kveta legatova11
Read here about Zelary (2001) and Jozova Hanule (2002) by Kveta Legátová, a mature first-time author who has taken the Czech book-market by storm.
Kveta Legátová is the pen name of an author born in 1919. A graduate in Czech, German, physics and maths, she worked as a teacher at various schools in the Czech countryside, where she was often forced to transfer from one school to another. Her balladic, sometimes naturalistic stories are inspired by life in the mountain areas where she worked. Legátová made her entry onto the literary scene in 2001 with the short-story collection Zelary. It enjoyed immediate success with readers and critics alike and its sales have risen month by month throughout the whole of last year. Zelary is a sophisticated collection of stark and surprisingly lyrical stories and human destinies set in a remote and impoverished area in the foothills during the first half of the twentieth century. Its sequel is the author's second book, the novella Jozova Hanule (Joe's Annie), the story of a young woman doctor hiding from Nazi persecution in a remote mountain village, where, in a setting very different from her intellectual milieu in the city, she falls deeply in love with an ordinary man from the area. The story ends with the tragically senseless and unnecessary massacre of the entire village by the advancing Red-Army units.

Some Critical Reaction to Zelary
Kveta Legátová's second book, 'Joe's Annie', has been filmed by Ondsej Trojan. Screenplay is by Petr Jarchovský. The film was premiered in September 2003.
Rooted in the tradition of rural short stories from the turn of the 20th century yet with a flourish, pace and composition a hundred years younger. (...) It's said that the story is disappearing from modern literature. Here there are plenty - a whole set of full-blooded, passionate and tragic stories. It is like delving into a past that may have been harsh but were still somehow human.
Lidové noviny

We immerse ourselves nostalgically in a poetic language full of lyrical images yet at the same time we are constantly on our guard against bleakly raw balladic stories
HOST No.1, 2002.

A breathtaking, naturalistic and beautiful read from start to finish.

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