Rajendra A. Chitnis

Rajendra A. Chitnis teaches Russian, Czech and Slovak language and literature from the 19th century to the present at Bristol University. His book, Literature in Post-Communist Russia and Eastern Europe, explores how Russian, Czech and Slovak fiction published in the late 1980s and 1990s reflects and responds to this liberalisation,and features analyses of works by, among others, Venedikt Erofeev, Vladimir Sorokin, Tat’iana Tolstaia, Viktor Pelevin, Bohumil Hrabal, Daniela Hodrová, Jáchym Topol, Pavel Vilikovský, Peter Pišťanek and Vlado Balla.

Hell in a Handcart

Daniela Kapitá?ová Samko Tále’s Cemetery Book Trans. Julia Sherwood 130pp Garnett Press London 2010 Hardback £8.99 (Video from the launch in London on 11.1.2011) Samko Tále is a physically and mentally stunted, forty-three-year-old resident of the Slovak border town of Komárno, who supplements his disability pension by collecting cardboard, and is writing his ‘book about a cemetery’ because an alcoholic at the station pub predicted it. His eddying ‘stream-of-consciousness’ takes in the period from his grandmother’s wartime acquisition of Jewish property (‘why would Jews need things like a piano in a concentration camp, right?’), the Communist period and post-independence Slovakia. […]