ECHO TSCHECHIEN with RADKA DENEMARKOVÁ
Reading and interview (in German): Hours of Lead
(German translation by Eva Profousová; published by Hoffmann und Campe, 2022)
A great novel about contemporary China that was awarded this year's Brücke Berlin Literature and Translation Prize 2022.
Beijing is the place to be for a group of Europeans who come to China to find themselves and a new direction in their lives. However, the possibilities for their development are very limited in the communist country. Meeting Chinese dissidents puts their values to the test and they all experience a dramatic turning point in their lives. At the forefront of this group is a Czech writer who is fully committed to democratic values and takes on the role of a moral compass for a Chinese student. Reading philosophical texts together eventually encourages the young woman to participate in acts of political resistance – with fatal consequences.
The great Czech author – Radka Denemarková – addresses the universal issues of responsibility and guilt, the consequences of the past, the abysses of human life, and morality with commitment and courage using eloquent language. In "Hours of Lead", she explains contemporary China while exposing the unholy alliance between communism and capitalism.
"Radka Denemarková's prose is a magic mirror."