A Contribution to the History of Joy (2014)

Příspěvek k dějinám radosti (2014)
Příspěvek k dějinám radosti (2014)

PŘÍSPĚVEK K DĚJINÁM RADOSTI

A CONTRIBUTION TO THE HISTORY OF JOY

Literary fiction
Host, 2014
334 pp

Extract (translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood) »

ABOUT THE BOOK

The body of a wealthy middle-aged businessman is found in his luxury villa in Prague.  Initially nothing suggests foul play but the man’s widow insists it couldn’t possibly be suicide.  As he begins to investigate, the policeman finds himself attracted to the young and beautiful widow.

A trail leads him to an orange house with a red roof on Prague’s Petřín hill, inhabited by three extraordinary elderly women: a yoga instructor, a filmmaker and a teacher of creative writing.  While the old ladies are away on some mysterious business, the policeman sneaks into their house. In the basement he discovers a vast archive of documents dating back to World War II.

What connects the murder case with the three women and their treasure trove documenting thousands of cases of rape and abuse?  Will the family of the young Indian woman who died after being gang-raped ever get justice? Will the ringleaders of the gang in the north of England who groomed young girls and forced them into prostitution ever be convicted for their crimes?  Or is vigilante justice the only possible response to such evil?

Only twittering swallows, roaming freely from continent to continent, have the answers and can make all the connections from their bird’s eye view.  Disguised as a crime novel and combining fact and fiction, Radka Denemarková’s fourth novel is a passionate indictment of all forms of violence against women whenever and wherever it occurs.

AWARDS

  • 2014 book mentioned in the Lidové noviny newspaper survey “LITERARY EVENT OF THE YEAR 2014”.
  • 2015 nominated for the CZECH BOOK PRIZE.

FOREIGN EDITIONS

RIGHTS SOLD TO

  • Sovera/Aspasia, Italy
  • Galaxis Gutenberg, Spain
  • Nauka, Bulgaria
  • Strik, Serbia

REVIEWS (CZECH). PŘÍSPĚVEK K DĚJINÁM RADOSTI

REVIEWS (FOREIGN). PŘÍSPĚVEK K DĚJINÁM RADOSTI