That Alluring Land: Slovak Stories

Timrava, Author University of Pittsburgh Press $0 (324p) ISBN 978-0-8229-3709-8
It can be hoped that this arresting volume of six pieces of her short fiction will make Timrava (the pseudonym for Bozena Slancikova, a kindergarten teacher and writer in the first half of this century) as well known here as she is in her native Czechoslovakia. Although written before World War II, the stories (and one novella) presented here often reveal a feminist sensibility. Strong female characters predominate, often bristling and rebelling against the constraints of middle-class society, including marriages of social and economic convenience. In one tale, an independent girl struggles against the concept of arranged marriages and celebrates romantic love. The novella, written in 1918, is a biting and sarcastic indictment of war and shows how even women can be swept up in the jingoist fervor that so often accompanies conflicts. The ``alluring land'' of the title piece is the United States, yet Timrava focuses not on those who emigrate but on those they leave behind. In all her work, she offers a fascinating window on a world long gone. Rudinsky, who teaches English at Oregon State University, provides a helpful introduction, putting the author's work in context. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-8229-5473-6
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