I Am Snowing: The Confessions of a Woman of Prague

Pavel Kohout, Author, Neil Bermel, Translator, Neal Bermel, Translator
Pavel Kohout, Author, Neil Bermel, Translator, Neal Bermel, Translator Farrar Straus Giroux $27.5 (308p) ISBN 978-0-374-17400-2
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-15-600187-8
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In this lighthearted cautionary tale, Czech author and former dissident Kohout takes aim at Communist Party apparatchiks and others busily trying to find a place for themselves during the go-go capitalist years of President Havel's tenure. Canadian emigre Viktor Kral returns home as an economic advisor to the new government. Accused of having been an informer for the now-defunct State Security, he appeals for help in clearing his name to Petra Marova, the dreamily romantic narrator of this jaunty comic novel. Viktor's accuser is Petra's former lover Josef Benes, once a member of the secret police, who gives in to her pressure and publicly recants his story while privately refusing to take it back. Caught in the middle, Petra must decide who is telling the truth: suave, popular Viktor, or earnest, unlikeable Josef. She also has problems of her own, including a wayward teenage daughter and sexual partners who range from the neglectful Viktor to a younger man who adores her. Kohout's sympathy for all three main characters and his jaundiced view of the ``new'' Czech society make this an informative and highly enjoyable look at the Westernization of Eastern Europe. (Mar.)
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