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Gerta: A Novel


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About the Author

Kateřina Tučková is a Czech playwright, publicist, biographer, art historian, exhibition curator, and bestselling author of Gerta and The Žítková Goddesses. She has won several literary awards, including the Magnesia Litera Award (for both Gerta and The Žítková Goddesses), the Brno City Award for literature, the Josef Škvorecký Award, and the Czech Bestseller Award. Kateřina is also the recipient of the Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Award by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, and of the Premio Libro d’Europa at the Book Fair in Salerno, Italy. Between 2015 and 2018, she was a founder and first president of the Meeting Brno festival, focusing on international and intercultural dialogue. Kateřina Tučková currently lives in Prague and Brno, Czech Republic. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages. Gerta is her first to be translated into English. In December 2020, her novel Bílá Voda will be published in Czech. For more information, visit www.katerina-tuckova.cz/en/.


“The story is an unvarnished chronicle of a young woman doing what she must to protect herself and her daughter.” —Historical Novel Society

“I think [Gerta] is beautiful and relevant. One of its basic themes is the expulsion of the German population from Czechoslovakia after the Second World War, but as a whole the novel carries a much broader theme that seems crucial to me today—that the mutual problems between people and nations will not be solved simply by an acknowledgment, and not even by an apology. An apology is just the beginning. We can admit our own guilt, take it on ourselves, but an even more difficult and important step, which is not spoken of so much and for which there are no laws or entitlements, is forgiveness—whether toward others or toward ourselves. For me, Gerta is a book about forgiveness.” —Alice Nellis, director of the Czech TV adaptation of Gerta (English translation by Véronique Firkusny)

Winner of the Magnesia Litera Readers’ award; short-listed for the Jiří Orten Award, the Josef Škvorecký Award, and Magnesia Litera in the prose category.

“A great book…Immediately after reading, [Gerta] is unforgettable…Although she certainly did not plan for it, Kateřina Tučková wrote a novel that should be required reading.” —Jan Hübsch, Lidovky

“The central story of Gerta Schnirch can be captured in one word, the clichéd adjective strong. Its strength lies particularly in its vivid depiction of frightful experiences immediately after World War II, experiences resembling terrible nightmares. To achieve this, the author does not need cheap effects or explicit, detailed, or shocking descriptions.” —Petr Hrtánek, iLiteratura

“The author describes, with a great writing talent and empathy for human suffering, Gerta’s life from the moment she stood at her mother’s grave in 1942…We have read of various anabases, but few are as dreadful as the one depicted with deep pity by Kateřina Tučková. And so forcefully described as if she were Gerta, experiencing it all firsthand.” —Milena Nyklová, Knižní novinky

“[Gerta] masterfully fulfills one of the potential and important functions of literature. It is a means of self-reflection for a particular community, which is the Czech nation in this case.” —Pavel Janoušek, Host

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