Translated from the Czech by Neil Bermel
Sometimes it seems that everythings pretend. That its only a
gesture that misses its mark. I am ten years old.
This was the year synthetic materials hit Prague. A new store, Plastik,
appeared on Wenceslas Square and there were lines in front of it every day. Everything
still amazed us: parkas, nylon bags, PVC statues.
One day my mother returned victoriously with plastic cutlery that looked
like wood. The marvel was that wood wasnt wood, just like the statues marble
wasnt marble. This collective seizure would soon pass: within a year, the
plasticware would land in the trash, but now we raised the strangely weightless knife up
to the light; the knife tipped upwards like a finger pointing somewhere else and,
marvelling, we fell under the spell of its artifice.
One morning Comrade Principal comes for me and for my best friend Hana.
To the envy of all our classmates, she plucks us out of a quiz and brings us to her
office. She doesnt say a word. Hanas dark ponytail trembles. She is
perpetually alarmed, always more exemplary than me.
Our school, the principal says curtly, has decided to
write to President Eisenhower.
She sits behind a large desk, wearing an army jacket: small, bent, and
wrinkled. To my horror, I see that she is holding our notebooks. Hanas are much more
attractive than mine. Hana has great handwriting. She gets to write for the bulletin
board. Her handwriting is just like her: tiny, well-formed. Always the same, neat.
The West, the principal continues, is secretly
preparing for war. They want to stab us in the back. But we wont let anyone take
peace away from us!
She picks up a composition I recognize, and fear makes my heart leap in
my chest. It is my contribution to the Young Writers competition. It won second prize in
the Prague 10 district. It is called A Merry Christmas Party.
You, the principal points her finger, you will write
the letter. And you: copy it over in your best handwriting. I want to see it before
vacation. You have two weeks.
She opens the desk and spends a long time looking for something. She
seems to have forgotten about us. I dont even dare utter a word. Suddenly she stands
up and stares me straight in the eye.
Its high time the truth be told! she shouts as if from
a deep sleep. The tips of my fingers go numb with excitement. The principal hands me an
outline to work from.
I fly home, riding the crest of the moment. Outline, point one:
greeting. Dear President Eisenhower! Outline, point four. The horrors of war. Like in
Soviet films. Signature: We, the children of Czechoslovakia. And it was I who was given
this historic task!
Fourth grade took something out of me. Just last year I swam through
life like a fish through water. Now Im a dry cork on the surface. I tread water and
try to get down inside it. Lifes every-day certainties are irrevocably gone.
Everything is just pretend. Since I can still faithfully imitate that
loud, plump little girl I was not so long ago, no one has caught on yet. For example,
everyone believes I love writing essays, but actually it bores me to death. My Merry
Christmas Party was made up out of thin air. About thin-air kids doing thin-air
things. In spite of this, everyone believes Im going to be a writer. Im
sentenced to fiction for life.
It doesnt bother me. I play laboriously at playing. Sometimes I
sense adults fleeting anxiety that everythings already happened. I secretly
hope for a jolt, for some sort of catapult of transformation, as if I were a
larva that ravenous inertia drives forth from the cocoon.
Is this my jolt? Presenting mankinds credentials in a letter?
Its high time the truth be told! For ten days I write as if in a fever.
First I describe rivers of blood. I awaken the conscience of the
American government. I speak with Eisenhower as an equal, but then behind all
mankinds back I chew my pen. I cross out whole mountains of pages, I dont
sleep, I fall exhausted beneath the steps of the White House. Hanas mother says the
whole thing is pretty stupid. Hana, of course, repeats this to me.
Finally the letter is ready. It has the horrors of war, as depicted in
films. It has many, many exclamation points. It has the sentence: After all, I
myself am still a child! Hana complains that its too long, but doesnt
take a stand. Her copying is exemplary, without a single mistake.
That evening I come up with an excuse to go out, and I run over to
Hanas. My authorial pride goads me on. I want to see that beautifully copied letter.
I want to touch it before Eisenhower does. To weigh in my hands the paper confection in
which my challenge to the White House will arrive.
Hana hesitantly lets me in. Usually we run right to her room, but today
we stand in the hallway, shifting from foot to foot as if on a train. Suddenly I hear an
explosion of laughter behind the wall and the voice of Hanas mother. Shes
reading my letter to her guests. We children are still too weak, our hands cannot
carry bombs, she quotes in a flat, cadaverous voice. Thats how the TV comedian
they call the Sad Man speaks. Hana doesnt laugh, but from her neat, perfidious face
its clear that she completely agrees with the antics behind the wall.
My parents say the principals crazy, she says
defensively, and she looks straight at me with prim courage.
Youre the one whos crazy! Just wait till theres
I turn on my heel and trot down the dark hallway. Hana quietly closes
the door, from which waves of laughter roll forth. Blind with humiliation, I vanish into
For the three days till the end of the school year we dont speak
to each other. On Friday, on the very brink of vacation, she stops me and says she
cant be my friend anymore. Stunned, taken unawares, I say that I never asked her to.
She says that theres no point in it. I say that I agree. Hana heads home with an
even stride, trailing straight As from her beribboned folders.
I flee into the coatroom and cry a little. Its my pride that
hurts, not my heart. This year I have no heart. The principal sees me in front of the
school and stops me with a stern gesture. She stares at me silently for a while, as if
trying to remember who I might happen to be. Then she shakes her head with a strange
horselike movement, strides off and, as she walks, says adamantly: The letters
July is desolate. I wander listlessly around the garden with nothing to
do. A dull film lies spread over everything; the summer fades under its protective coating
like a cabinet under a plastic slipcover in a deserted room. I attempt to think about
President Eisenhower, but since the incident with Hana a film has spread over him too. The
cool gray days slide by.
On Sunday evening someone rings the bell. The superintendents
wife, Mrs. Zámský, runs to the gate. Boredom keeps me forever hanging out the window and
so I see a burly old man come in. He has a cane and keeps coughing. Behind him walks a
strongly built, dark-skinned girl. She furrows the ground with her dark, indifferent eyes,
Hello! Mrs. Zámský shouts, and she waves at me.
Weve brought you a friend! Shes from Votice! Show yourself to the young
The next day they put us together. Its wet, and were wearing
sweats and jackets. We hang around near the house. Sasha is glum.
How old are you? I ask.
Just turned thirteen.
Even under the jacket I can see that she has breasts. She doesnt
look at me. She doesnt look at anything. She just walks wherever shes headed,
with a heavy, uninterested tread.
Are you starting eighth grade?
Why not? If youre thirteen. . .
We pass by the bench. Mr. Zámský lets out a guffaw. He slaps Sasha on
the backside and for about the fifth time says:
Thatta girl! And what a piece of girl she is, huh?
Mr. Zámský gives me the jitters. His big head is continually shaking.
His tongue hangs out of his mouth and his eyes swim around as if bobbing in formaldehyde.
Is that your uncle? Is he nice to you?
Sasha just shrugs her shoulders. Hes nuts.
My feet are killing me. Id like to go home. I have no idea what to
say, but the footpath pulls me onward like a tugboat.
What do you like to play?
You wont tell my aunt?
I raise two fingers, wet with my saliva.
Lovers, Sasha says. Im dumbfounded.
But . . . how? I ask. It begins to rain again. Sasha looks
Come over behind those trees, she whispers. We step into the
cool, damp shadows. Rainwater drips down our necks. Sasha doesnt hesitate. She bends
over and kisses me on the lips. Her mouth is smeared with baby oil.
Thats how, she says matter-of-factly. I guess
thats all there is to it. We run out into the rain and then play rummy with Mrs.
Zámský until evening.
And after that were together all the time. We dont budge
from the garden; we play uninterruptedly. At what? At being lovers. Sasha doesnt
want to play anything else. How? Its simple. We walk through the birch trees hand in
hand and give each other kisses. Do I like it? Not at all. I have just outgrown the
cuddling phase and they wont get me back so quickly. Besides, theres something
missing for me in this game, but I dont know what it is.
And what are we called?
What is who called?
Ow, whyd you bite me?! I mean the lovers!
Without names it just wont work. A name is always more than a
body. Sasha licks a blade of grass, and concentrates on tickling my ear. I fidget
So are we going out with each other? And will we get married
someday? And have children? Yes or no?
Who knows. Sasha never asks things like that. The world around Sasha
stands still. I have a Young Writers silver medal and I know full well that the world is a
story, a finger pointing somewhere else: a direction.
So lets make something up!
Why? I dont want to.
If I make something up, will you play it with me?
Sasha doesnt know. Its all the same to her. She stops
tickling me and focuses her attention on squashing ants with her fingernail.
The next day Im in the garden at eight. Furiously I stomp by the
Zámskýs ground-floor window. Sasha is sleeping and doesnt want to get up,
but Im stomping like a real live elephant.
I have a story! I couldnt fall asleep until two last night. A
profusion of versions ran through my head. Im as prolific as Adam in paradise. I am
amazed how easy it is to create new worlds. Before sleep finally overtook me, I decided
with solemn finality who Sasha and I really were.
At the window, Mr. Zámský is threatening me with his cane; hes
angry that Im making noise. Sasha yawns. She spends ages eating breakfast. Finally
were together behind the birch trees. Mumbling, I tell her her role. I know
everything, absolutely everything! I (he) am called Mount Everest. Sasha (she) is
There exist two famous mountain climbers. They bear the names of the
mountains they have climbed. They have never in their lives met, but the world considers
them fierce rivals. There is but one unconquered mountain left in all the world. It is the
highest of them all and it has sent hundreds of climbers to their deaths. In the language
of its country Himalayan, I think it is called the Mountain of Mountains.
Both decide to climb it. The whole world waits with baited breath to see
who will be the first to raise the flag. The reporters are frantic, every transmitter is
straining its ears. But a shock hits shortly before they set out.
At the foot of the Mountain, Everest discovers the amazing truth. The
whole world thinks this is a battle of man against man. Only Kilimanjaro is not a man.
Sasha: It was only for your sake that I played this silly game. If
youd known I was a girl, you would never have competed with me.
Mount Everest (horrified): Kilimanjaro, I warn you the Mountain
of Mountains is the ends of the earth! At the summit there is nothing but sheer frost.
The ascent begins. Step by step the way grows harder. The sky is like a
white abyss and the world is so tense it forgets to breathe. The most frightening part of
the mountain draws near, the Wall of Death. No one, not even Sasha or I, foresees the
From that day on, the game takes an unforeseen turn. At the end of the
garden is a steep hill. The ground here is perpetually moist, covered with brushwood. So
it becomes the Wall of Death. We press through the bushes on our bellies; a mountain
hurricane rips us asunder, thorns catch on our sweatpants. The Young Writer has turned a
fin-de-sičcle stroll in the park into a military exercise.
Most of all, our love is now different. Theres no more kissing,
thank God. Love is no longer a perpetual dance in a circle. Its a contest, agony.
Its a finger pointing straight up direction! We crawl across the icy plain,
exhausted. There is no thought of embraces, and anyway we are kept apart by layers of
walrus skins. At these heights, a kiss without an oxygen mask spells death.
My parents are just thankful Im playing and not lazing around the
apartment with a bored expression on my face. Two or three times they invite Sasha over
for a snack, but in the apartment shes glum again.
That evening my mother says that Sashas a dim bulb.
Shes got breasts big enough to be nursing, but she keeps
getting held back.
It doesnt make any sense to me. Sasha doesnt seem at all
dim. On the contrary, shes fabulous. For example, she figured out how to freeze all
by herself. Ive never seen anyone freeze; I have nothing to compare it to, but she
stiffens up like an icicle. She says I have to massage her with snow. Everest diligently
rubs her with hands calloused by the fasteners of his coat, but Kilimanjaro does not wake
Kiss me! she hisses suddenly out of her unconsciousness, her
eyelids still squeezed shut.
How do I know that the fateful moment has come? Like the snake-prince, I
can even see in the dark. I know even what I dont know at all. With a single tug I
rip off my oxygen mask. Everest falls head over heels in love.
The elderberry thicket encloses us. All around, the silence rumbles like
a cracked bell, and the distant roar of avalanches gradually falls silent. Face to face
with the sheer frost of death, Everest comes to know the terror of love. Practically
without touching her, in a panic, he kisses the frozen girl. Sasha immediately opens her
eyes, and although she knows I dont like it the cunning girl licks me
One evening, theres a commotion downstairs. Sasha and I secretly
peer through the window. Mrs. Zámský is chasing her brother around the kitchen; she
swipes at him with a broom whenever shes close enough, while he cowers in horror
against the wall and, with a shaking hand, parries with his cane.
Shame on you, you pig! she screams, and she swings the broom
round her head. Ill throw you right out! Go back to Votice, you pig! Bet they
dont want you either, you swine!
She throws a brush at him. Mr. Zámský bursts out of the door and makes
his getaway. Sashas eyes are shining.
I know why my aunts upset! she whispers. She bites her
fingers until red marks are left on them, brushes against me, and giggles with excitement.
By the end of the week, Sasha starts to revolt against me. Were
all scratched up, weve broken our nails, and under our sweats our knees are
thoroughly bruised. Weve already climbed a slippery path along the Wall of Death,
where the brushwood straggles to the ground. Sasha grumbles that shes lost interest.
I understand her. After all, were always playing the same thing.
Whats more attractive in love than the starting line? I am perpetually rewinding the
hands of our story back to zero. Sasha freezes, Everest stands over her. The circulation
of his blood pauses, like an elevator. This helping of emotion is quite enough for me, but
Sasha is muttering. She wants to know when were going to get to the top.
The worst thing is that I dont know myself. The Young Writer is
stuck in a creative crisis. I dragged us out to the ends of the earth, and for a week
Ive been holding us there like a customs official. Just short of the goal, my
imagination has run dry. What awaits love at the summit of the Mountain of Mountains?
I compress my feelings like a cylinder of gas. I cross out the kisses;
were fighting for every gasp of air. The mountain belches frost, I camp just shy of
the summit and lack the courage for that last step.
Im not playing! Sasha pouts. Spitefully, she sticks a
thorn through my sweats. I beg her: just one more time. We both roll down to the fence and
with a sense of relief I slip back under the starting line of love and once again Im
crawling along on my belly like a newt.
On Sunday, Sasha gets the flu. I cant go see her and Im
desperate. I thrash around the apartment like a Christmas carp in a trough, I talk back
and cut people off and am so nasty that my mother ironically asks me:
Do you love her so much you cant be apart for even a
The question takes me by surprise. I dont love Sasha at all! It
would never occur to me to love Sasha! Everest loves Kilimanjaro with the insanity of
sheer frost, but it has nothing to do with Sasha and me. We are mere game pieces a
finger pointing somewhere else. We are only representatives, even if I dont know
A dull excitement dogs me all day. I read a little, but made-up stories
irritate me. I stuff myself with cookies. Finally, right before dinner, I get an idea for
the next act of our game.
The exhausted Kilimanjaro is sleeping in the cliff grotto. Everest sets
out for the summit. He stands right beneath it. One more step and he could leave his
fingerprint upon the very apex of the world. The lofty vacuum turns his blood to foam. He
is alone like no one anywhere ever. He sits down on a rocky protrusion and takes out a
piece of stationery. Beloved Kilimanjaro!
The love letter is an utterly alien genre for me. Laboriously, I look
for sentences to borrow, and cobble them together into something exceedingly odd. I
dont believe what gets into my pen. What I understand perfectly as an inarticulate
feeling is, when put into words, even thinner air than my Christmas Party.
Kilimanjaro! Its high time the truth be told. Until today I did
not know what love was! . . . They call me to dinner, three times. Woodenly I stack line
on line. I love you. Meanwhile, the spinach on my plate is getting cold. Till I die I will
love only you. The fourth time around, they hound me to supper.
Then, to stay within the boundaries of the story, I figure out how we
can correspond properly this far above sea level. With the help of some thin rope, of
course! I run downstairs. Mrs. Zámský is in the kitchen with curlers in her hair.
Im hopping with impatience, Ive explained it to her so many times! Im
even shouting a little. Mrs. Zámský wants to know why I dont just hand her the
letter. With a speed borne of exasperation, I spill the whole thing again. Mrs. Zámský
asks: And what kind of game is it? Finally she waves her hands at me and goes to wake
I stand on the balcony, tying the rope. Carefully I lower the letter.
WRITE BACK IMMEDIATELY! Everest adds. I mope around upstairs, practicing my blandishments
on the twilight. Hurrah! Sashas hand sticks out from the rocky grotto. She attaches
My temperatures almost normal. My aunts going to the
movies tomorrow so if you want, come over.
As if to spite me, the heat today is like a frying pan. The sun pours
through the closed windows. The basement apartment is oppressive and stifling. Mr.
Zámský is sleeping in a chair in the garden, and Sasha is sitting on her bed in a
Do you still feel sick?
Still have a temperature?
Suddenly I dont know what to say. I stand up and look around. Most
of all Id like to crawl right into the game, like a hand into a glove.
So are we going to play? Like always?
Hey, could you bring me something to drink?
Ill bring it to you when we pretend.
What do you mean, pretend? Im dying of thirst!
So pretend like hes coming back to free her from the
Everest brings her warm lemonade in a plastic glass; even Mrs. Zámský
has had a plastic seizure, but she doesnt have a refrigerator. He finds Kilimanjaro
asleep. No, shes frozen. Everest stands for a while, completely taken aback. Then he
puts the glass aside and begins to massage the forearms of this victim of the Mountain.
Kilimanjaro! Dont die! he whispers today
hes not at all convincing.
The victim opens one eye slightly: Got the drink?
She gulps it down at once and wipes the spills off her nightgown.
You know what you have to do! she says, and freezes. Mount
Everest is taking his time. Its not easy to introduce sheer frost into a
hundred-degree zone. Sasha breathes aloud. The hairs on her neck glisten gold with sweat.
Everest still cannot get into the game. Finally he leans over, perplexed. A dying arm
grabs him around the throat. He didnt expect this; his legs slide out from under him
and he topples right into the featherbed.
When it gets dark outside, Everests first fear is that they will
find him in the Zámskýs bed in his sneakers. He jumps up and comes to attention
like an army major. Mr. Zámský is squatting outside, tapping on the glass and
Go jump in a lake, old man! Sasha says irritably.
Whats he want with us?
Sasha puts on an idiotic expression:
Go for it, girls, thats right, do it!
Then she tumbles back into the featherbed and snores. Mr. Zámský
shuffles inside. He slaps me on my rear and sits down on the bed.
Well, girls! Want to look at some pictures? Not a word to Mrs. Z.!
She doesnt need to know everything, right girls?
Sasha is snoring like a steam engine. And shes poking me in the
back with her foot. The fever has unleashed her somehow. Mr. Zámský pulls out a tattered
Come on, girls, lets have some fun together! After all, I
saw you you know how to have fun!
Sasha leans forward and props her chin on his shoulder. Cardboard
figures stand out on the page, a ballerina and a man holding a hat right below his belly.
Strings hang down beneath them. Mr. Zámský winks at us. He pulls one of the strings and
the ballerina raises her leg up high. It turns out she isnt wearing any panties.
Whoa! Sasha yelps, and she rips the book away from her
uncle. She pulls the other string. The man jerks his arms backward.
Give it back! Sasha! Mr. Zámský shouts. Sasha jumps around
the bed, the bed springs like a trampoline. In a panic, her uncle grabs the footboard.
Get on over here! Sasha calls to me. I waver, but she holds
out her hand. I dont recognize her at all today. Hastily I kick off my shoes and
climb over to her.
Sasha! You little devil! Mr. Zámský moans. Hes
afraid to stand up and can barely hold onto the crossrail. Im jumping as well.
Its easier than keeping my balance. Suddenly a strange hotness enters me. Sasha
jerks on the string, the man thrusts his naked belly against the ballerina, and we both
You! Little girl! Make her give back the book!
Im choking in the stifling heat. I dont recognize either
Sasha or myself. I jump and shriek with all my might, Wow!
Suddenly Sasha yelps, Aunties coming! and quick as a
flash throws the book behind the bed. Mr. Zámský is horribly frightened. As he shoots
out of the room, he drops his cane, but leaves it lying on the ground and flees. Im
also horribly frightened; Ive turned white as a sheet. Sasha laughs wildly and
burrows into the featherbed up to her nose.
No ones coming, dont worry. I just said that so
hed leave. Come crawl under the featherbed so he cant see us!
She pulls out the book and blows off the dust. She nods at me and pats
the place next to her.
Im still going to tell my aunt on him tonight!
She sits up, takes off her nightgown, and spreads her legs apart.
Carefully she examines the picture and then between her own thighs. Everest stands on the
bed; he cant move, must be frozen.
Come on already! Sasha shrieks at me. The featherbed falls
on us like an avalanche.
As I run up the steps, lightning flashes. It creates the impression that
evening has arrived early today.
My parents arent home, but theres a letter on the table. At
first I overlook it. Only when I get out of the bathtub do I see that its from Hana.
I spend a long time rubbing my face with a handtowel. My hot skin itches as if an electric
current were buzzing through the air.
The letter takes me by surprise; I had completely forgotten about Hana.
I take out the folded pages and can barely focus on what Im reading.
Two, three pages, an ordinary vacation letter. Swimming, the country
house at Strakonice, colds, trips, mushroom picking. Do you already have your assignment
done for September? Not me. Then I turn the page over.
And I also wanted to write you and say how much it bothers me that
we ended what was a beautiful friendship. Maybe you already have another friend, but I
still love you and will love you till I die.
All of it in tiny, perfectly formed handwriting, good enough for the
American government. Just outside the window, lightning flashes. Suddenly fear pins me to
the wall. Scarcely an instant later, the thunder hits.
Sometimes it seems that everythings just a fiction. A substitute
for something that doesnt exist. In spite of this, each life has its moments that
stand for nothing but themselves. This is one of them.
Outside its pouring. In bed, flashlight in hand, Im writing
a letter propped on my knees. I love Hana so awfully much that there is no room for
wonder. I didnt know it this morning, but now the whole past serves only as the
foundation for my love. In the feeble glow of the flashlight lines pour forth from me onto
page after page.
I love you. Till I die I will love only you. The mountain hurricane
carries me through the skies. A full five pages spill forth, foaming, over the margins of
When I finish writing, it is midnight. The house is asleep. I run along
the balcony in the pouring rain and try to guess where Strakonice might be. Then I stand
there in sheer triumph and transmit myself south-southwest. This is no fiction. This is no
gesture. It is love itself. For it is high time the truth be told: what wouldnt I
give to experience such love again!
In the morning, Sasha is allowed out into the garden again. For the
first time she hangs around alone. I stay home reading. Sometimes I peer out under the
curtains at her as she wanders along the paths. Only when I should be chopping carrots do
I run out to see her.
Hi. Were you sleeping?
Cause youre later than usual.
We sit, swinging our legs, on the edge of a basin full of wet branches.
Sasha brushes lightly against my ankle.
Are we going to play?
I dont respond. The sun makes a burning cap on my head. I twist my
ankle around my other leg.
I cant today.
I have a vacation assignment to do.
An assignment? Over the summer?
Only the best students have to do them. Like me and my friend
Sasha loudly kicks at the basin wall. A yellow powder drifts down from a
We both write pretty well. We wrote to President Eisenhower
So then will you come down?
And we also wrote to the American government. To make sure there
isnt a war. My friend has the prettiest hand-writing in the whole class. And I have
the best essays.
Sasha falls silent. Mr. Zámský comes trudging down the path. As soon
as he spots us, he heads off somewhere else. At that moment a black spark of hatred
flashes through me.
Why do you keep kicking our wall? I say. Youre
going to wreck it!
Sasha jumps down off the rim. Out of spite, I carefully pick up bits of
gravel out of the grass, but she doesnt turn around. I have to go home for lunch
Sasha left Prague two days after this. We said good-bye casually. Mr.
Zámsky left with her. I never sent the letter to Hana. I carried it around with me for a
few days and then left it in the pocket of my windbreaker.
As for the Mountain of Mountains, Mount Everest got the furthest, but
even he never made it to the summit. His transmitter went dead. He must have wiped away
the snow and then covered the frozen girl with his own body. Somewhere there the track was
lost. No one ever conquered the Mountain of Mountains.
In September, Hana and I sit next to each other, but its awkward
and futile. The wheel of friendship doesnt spin up again. Fifth grade languidly and
painlessly draws us apart.
One day, Im rushing somewhere through the hallway at school.
Theres a bulletin board there for the class council. Suddenly something stops me in
my tracks. Dear President Eisenhower! a tiny, familiar hand has written.
For a while I cant believe my eyes. Our letter has been in America
for ages! After all, it was for President Eisenhower! Until finally the shock hits me and
in a flash I understand it all.
That letter was never intended to be sent. There was no hope it would
reach its addressee; it was just pretend. It too was a gesture that missed its mark
a finger that might point somewhere, but somewhere it will never touch.
©1997 Catbird Press, from DAYLIGHT IN NIGHTCLUB INFERNO: Czech Fiction from the
Post-Kundera Generation, selected by Elena Lappin. This story will also be included in the
upcoming collection of stories by Daniela Fischerová,
translated by Neil Bermel, FINGERS POINTING SOMEWHERE
ELSE.For more information about or to order either of these books, please visit www.catbirdpress.com, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-360-2391.