Vita Nuova - A Novel

Vita Nuova is the second in a trilogy of memoirs written from the perspective of Bohumil Hrabal’s wife, Elis.ka, about their life in Prague from the 1950s to the 1970s, when Communist repression of artists was at its peak. Hrabal’s inimitable humor, which in Elis.ka’s ruminations ranges from bawdy slapstick to cutting irony, is all the more penetrating for being directed at himself. Vita Nuova showcases Hrabal’s legendary bohemian intellectual life, particularly his relationship with Vladimír Boudník. Hrabal creates a shrewd, lively portrait of Eastern European intellectual life in the mid-twentieth century.

“That trilogy of mine has to thank for its style and its content Mrs. tolstoy and Mrs. Dostoevsky, whose biographies about their husbands have now been published in Prague, and in these books, they praise their husbands so much that I told myself to write my autobiography through the prism of my wife’s view . . .” —Bohumil hrabal

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