Věra Nosková

Věra NoskováVěra Nosková’s name is well-known on the Czech literary scene. Born in 1947, Nosková has been writing novels and short stories with great success since 2003. Her breakthrough came with the novel Bereme, co je (We’ll Take What’s Offered), which became a bestseller and was published in three editions between 2005 and 2010. The work was nominated for the Czech Magnesia Litera Award in 2005. Because of her success, Nosková received the Hessian Literature Scholarship, an award granted as part of the Czech-German literary partnership, in 2013. Her recently published novel Proměny (Transformations), received the Czech Book Readers’ Choice Award in 2014, which is part of the Czech Book Award. In this novel, the author portrays the fates of various people immediately before and after the 1989 turnaround.

 


 

A selection of titles


Click on the cover for the extract.

Bereme, co je (We’ll Take What’s Offered)

Publisher: Věra Nosková, Praha, 2010 (3rd edition, first published in 2005)
ISBN: 978-80-87373-04-0
252 pages

A stuffy town in Southern Bohemia is home to Pavla, a teenage girl who needs all her vitality to cope with both the difficulties in her family and the hopeless political situation of the 1950s and 60s. After Pavla’s parents split up, her mother not only hates her father for leaving, but also hates Pavla, his daughter. Nosková embeds this tragedy into the narrow and dull atmosphere of small-town Stalinist, and post-Stalinist, communism. The young, intelligent Pavla, an archetype of her whole generation, is caught in a hopeless situation. She flees—initially to erotic adventures, combined with poetry and philosophy; later, to the streets; and finally, to the madhouse. But it’s her environment, not her, that’s crazy.

Paradoxically, the reader must laugh more than cry over this tragic issue. Because the author detaches from herself to narrate her memoir with a mix of bawdy humor and irony. Nosková creates an outlandish blend of Chick-Lit and Generation novel–a guaranteed joy to read and, simultaneously, it zooms in on an epoch of recent history.

The novel was nominated for the Czech Magnesia Litera Award in 2005.


Věra Nosková has probably written one of the best novels of the post-turnaround literature.

Alena Slezáková, literary critic

Obsazeno (Occupied)

Publisher: Věra Nosková, Praha, 2011
ISBN 978-80-87373-17-0
185 pages

Prague after the Prague Spring of 1968, during the Russian occupation. The author introduces a depressing situation. It is a time when the communist elites are trying to consolidate their regained power. The magnificent frontage of Prague is growing more and more gray, whilst the people are trying to be inconspicuous. Nevertheless, in the cafés of the city, the lives of musicians, poets and artists are blooming – all standing in defiance against the dictatorship. The heroine, Pavla, experiences this conflict.

Víme svý (We Know Our Own Know)

Publisher: Věra Nosková, Praha, 2008
ISBN 978-80-903320-7-2
251 pages

A small border town. Beautiful landscapes. Passionate love. This idyll, however, is only a deception as it plays out during what is known as normalisation after the Prague Spring. The aim is to restore the political situation that prevailed before the reform attempts. Hypocrites and opportunists are on the move. Heroine Pavla longs for happiness and an ethical, truthful life. Should she adapt to the pettiness of the environment?

Proměny (Transformations)

Publisher: Věra Nosková, Praha, 2013
ISBN 978-80-87373-38-5
195 pages

The political upheaval in 1989 deeply transforms the lives of people. The novel centers around a shy woman, Annette, who is married to a drunk and works as night governess to earn a meager living. Her secret hobby and only joy is photography. Then the political change comes and an unexpected freedom opens up. Annette becomes a recognised photojournalist. With her new-found self-confidence, she gains the courage to divorce her alcoholic husband. The fates of all the people around Annette change, but not always for the better. A novelistic study on society.

The novel received the Czech Book Readers’ Choice Award in 2014.