Doh-Bree Veh-Cherr with Monika Zgustova

May 2, 2014 , 7:00 p.m.

Informal evening in discussion with the Czech writer and translator on her novel Silent Woman published in English by Feminist Press, and her professional and personal experience with Bohumil Hrabal, whose anniversary we celebrate this year.

The Silent Woman by Monika Zgustova

Translated by Mathhew Tree.

Foreword by Norman Manea.

A rapturous novel of love, longing, and exile, The Silent Woman depicts a twentieth century woman's life against a backdrop of war and political turmoil.

Sylva, half Czech and half German, is born into an aristocratic family and lives in a castle outside Prague. She marries a man she doesn't love and is seduced by the joyful madness of Paris in the 1920s as an ambassador's wife. When the Nazis force her to state her loyalty, she capitulates, not realizing how this decision will inform and haunt the rest of her life. Sylva's story is interwoven with a contemporary sex chronicle of her son Jan, a world-renowned mathematician and émigré living in the United States, who exudes the restlessness of a man without a country.

"The Silent Woman is the work of a sensitive, cultivated, skilled, and original writer who deserves our full attention and admiration." —Norman Manea, author of The Hooligan's Return

"Monika Zgustova's exhilarating novel captures the passion of a century in turmoil." —Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, author of Hiroshima in the Morning

Monika Zgustova

is an award winning author ("Amat Piniella Award" for the best novel of the year, "Gratias Agit" and "The City of Barcelona" awards among others) whose works (six novels, a volume of short stories, two plays, a biography and a dictionary) have been translated into nine languages (her American publishers are Feminist Press CUNY and Open Road). She was born in Prague. In the 1970s and 1980s she studied comparative literature in the United States (University of Illinois and University of Chicago). Then she moved to Barcelona, where she writes for "El Pais" and "La Vanguardia". As a translator of Czech and Russian literature into Spanish and Catalan –including the writing of Havel, Kundera, Hrabal, Hasek, Dostoevsky, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, and Babel– Zgustova is credited with bringing major twentieth-century writers into Spain.

Organized by: Czech Center New York