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Book Review: The Night Circus

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Book Review: The Night Circus

'Kovalyk’s vision is startlingly original. She interweaves elements of magic realism and the supernatural into her fables with terrific effect.' Lucy Popescu reviews the short story collection The Night Circus for BookBlast.


‘...riotous, funny and painful’ - European Literature Network on Kovalyk

  • Europa Carnivale series title

  • Creative Europe award title

  • Shortlisted author for Slovakia’s prestigious Anasoft Litera Award

  • Bibliotéka Prize winning author, 2013

I found him one morning when I went to take out the rubbish. He lay in the grass, clutching a piece of dirty plastic in his tiny baby hands.

Blending the naturalistic and the fabulistic, these elusive, delicate stories fold fable and fairy tale into the everyday, domestic settings of kitchen, garden, car. Women love, and lose, strange creatures they find by the garden gate; dream dogs are liberated from the icy prison of a fridge; bathrooms bloom into rainforests that souls can lose themselves in forever. Seemingly quotidian routines and unremarkable lives are pierced by Kovalyk’s precise, sensual prose, to reveal the magic lurking just beneath the surface of the daily skin of existence.


author photoUršuľa Kovalyk is a poet, fiction writer, playwright and social worker. She was born in 1969 in Košice, eastern Slovakia and currently lives in the capital, Bratislava. She has published the short story collections , Neverné ženy neznášajú vajíčka (Unfaithful Women Lay No Eggs, 2002) and Travesty šou(Travesty Show, 2004), and two novels, Žena zo sekáča (The Second-hand Woman 2008) and Krasojazdkyňa (The Equestrienne, originally published in Slovak in 2013 and in English by Parthian in 2016) was shortlisted for Slovakia’s most prestigious literary prize, the Anasoft Litera Award, and received the Bibliotéka Prize for 2013.  Her most recent collection of short stories, Čisté zviera (A Pure Animal), appeared in 2018.