LONGLISTED FOR THE EBRD LITERATURE PRIZE 2021
WINNER OF THE CZECH NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
Translated from the Czech by Julia and Peter Sherwood.
"Demonstrating how pain and trauma seep from one generation to the next, Hana is an important and impactful novel that reminds us that no society is ever immune from the plague of complicity." - Wales Arts Review
"The book is structured in a very effective way, with great rhythm and with distinct, differing, pitch-perfect voices." - European Literature Network
"The prose is an absolute joy to read and the ease at which Mornštajnová moves between places, narrators and points in time is just astonishing. Full of twists, turns, and gut-wrenching revelations, this is storytelling at its best..." Two in a Teacup
"Mornštajnová demonstrates great insight into the child’s mind, in simple, unsentimental, at times humorous prose ... that hold(s) our attention with increasing intensity." Zuzana Slobodová, TLS
"A shattering book." - Niall Griffiths, Planet
"An excellent novel." - Toby Lichtig, TLS
It’s 1954 and nine-year-old Mira’s life is about to change forever. After a typhoid outbreak rages through her town, robbing her of her parents and siblings, the orphaned child is forced to live with her mysterious, depressive Aunt Hana, a figure both frightening and fragile. Gradually, Mira uncovers the secrets of their troubled family history and begins to understand why her aunt is so incapable of trusting herself and the world around her.
Deftly weaving two separate timelines, the harrowing reasons behind Hana’s reclusive way of life, the guilt she wears as palpably as a cloak, and the tattoo on her wrist, are revealed to Mira.
Alena Mornštajnová’s gripping novel, which is based on real events, has won numerous awards and been translated into over a dozen languages across the world.
Alena Mornštajnová is a teacher of English and translator
and author of five successful novels. Rights for her latest
novel Hana have been sold to thirteen countries: United
Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Slovenia,
Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Latvia, Syria and Greece.