In the land of blue stars and crows | Die Furche


Veronika Schuchter: Radka Denemarková: Im Land der Blauelstern und Krähen. Die Furche, 9. 2. 2022.

“Hours of Lead” never tries to disguise the fact that it is a thoroughly politically engaged book. Her ability to translate such an unabashedly literary commitment into a highly poetic language and original form makes Radka Denemarková one of the most exciting contemporary writers around.

Literary commitment, poetic language and original form: Radka Denemarková’s monumental China novel “Hours of Lead”.

The blue magpie is smaller than the magpie we know. Its song is rougher, more of a croak. It looks stockier, but also more beautiful, with its long, deep blue tail feathers. Radka Denemarková loves birds as motivic animals. In her last novel, she had a commenting chorus of swallows flutter ominously through the story. In her new novel, Hours of Lead, she juxtaposes the blue magpie with black crows.

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Radka Denemarková: Stunden aus Blei. Novel. Translated from Czech by Eva Profousová. 880 pp., hardcover, EUR 32,90 (Verlag Hoffmann und Campe, Hamburg)

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