An accidental pregnancy, a good-looking man who cares about no one but himself, marriage because the man ‘had a bit of a Christian upbringing’, divorce—that is the trajectory of Pipina’s life, leading to single motherhood and a thousand cruelties of everyday life because she is an ugly woman in a world where ugliness is worse than a death sentence. At every turn, she is reminded of her inferiority. She can’t wait for the end of each day when she can sit in the stairwell outside of her dilapidated apartment and retreat into her thoughts. Her drab life full of indignities dissolves only in her beautiful, cinematic dreams. In them, she experiences whatever she can’t do or have in real life. She creates a rich inner world, and her razor-sharp observations, interlaced with a good dose of humor, produce a revealing narrative about contemporary society. In the first English translation of her work, the brilliant Slovak author Zuzana Cigánová pulls back the veil on people’s most private thoughts—thoughts that could very much be our own.
Praise for the Slovak original:
‘You have to get onto the wavelength of Zuzana Cigánová’s writing and accept it just as it is—spontaneous, cheeky and unpretentious, even at the risk of not everything working out perfectly. But it is precisely this courage that makes her writing so appealing and enables her to transform conventional patterns into an unconventional and surprising narrative.’—Ivana Taranenková, Pravda
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