Times Literary Supplement


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. […]