Truck Stop Rainbows: A Czech Road Novel

Iva Pekarkova, Author, David Powelstock, Translator Farrar Straus Giroux $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-374-24065-3
Born in 1963, Pekarkova belongs to a generation of Czechs defined not by the Prague Spring and the subsequent Soviet invasion, but by their aftermath. Although she emigrated in 1985, the subject matter of her beautifully conceived first novel entitles her to be considered one of Czechslovakian literature's fresh new voices. Her 25-year-old narrator, Fialka, consciously rebels against the dreary, anonymous housing complexes, industrial pollution and Communist repression that characterize Czech life before the Velvet Revolution. Although nominally attending college, Fialka spends much of her time at friend Patrik's apartment or hitchhiking across the country on the Northern Road, where she finds the ``serendipity'' she seeks in a casual affair with a trucker. When Patrik develops multiple sclerosis and learns he will have to wait five years for a wheelchair, Fialka tries to raise the necessary cash by becoming a prostitute. In the end, she gives up this deadening profession and decides against emigration, opting to remain in a country ``devoted to the eradication of rainbows.'' Pekarkova administers a well-deserved shake to the quintessentially masculine road novel, combining a complex portrait of her narrator--now tough and brazen, now vulnerable and young--with fresh insights about her native land in this excellent debut. ( Sept. )
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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FORMATS
Paperback - 279 pages - 978-0-679-74675-1
Hardcover - 978-0-685-57383-9
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