ABOUT THIS BOOK
A collection of short stories by Czech women from the turn of the twentieth century.
A World Apart brings together translations of eight stories by Czech women from the turn of the twentieth century—a period of female political emancipation and impressive literary development in Czechoslovakia. Though they’re little known to an English-language public today, all of the writers featured in the book were recognized in their own day and constitute a cross-section of the literary styles of the period. Anna Maria Tilschová’s “A Sad Time” is written in a naturalist style, while Růžena Jesenská’s “A World Apart” presents themes and motifs that appealed to the Decadents. Helena Malířová’s “The Sylph” is both diaristic and satirical, whereas Růžena Svobodová’s ironical “A Great Passion,” with its rural setting and folklore motifs, calls to mind the writings of Karel Jaromír Erben. Gabriela Preissová’s short story “Eva” may be read as a celebration of folk culture, and Božena Benešová’s “Friends” is interesting for its psychological presentation of a child’s point of view and its implicit criticism of anti-Semitism. The book is accompanied by the biographies of each author and an introduction by editor and translator Kathleen Hayes.