Stalin's Shoe

Zdena Tomin, Author Dodd Mead $0 (157p) ISBN 978-0-396-08890-5
This first novel was written by a Czech exile living in London, in the language, not of her origins, but of her adopted home. Tomin, who came of age during Dubcek's Prague spring, found her hopes shattered by the Soviet invasion. Later, her citizenship was revoked when she traveled to Oxford in 1980. The novel's heroine, 44-year-old Linda, recalls her Czech childhood from a retreat in Wales, where she has gone to get away from crushing nightmares and a shared flat in dingy Islington. There, she evokes the Nazi occupation, the Russian liberation, her childhood adoration of Stalinat the foot of whose statue she sat dreaming of brave new worlds. Then the tanks thundered through the streets, and a harsh reality brought an end to Linda's optimism. Though one commends Tomin's courage in undertaking a novel in English, this is a fairly commonplace, romantic narrative composed of essentially unrelated parts cast in a style that still shows signs of strain. (January)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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