My debut novel
Far from home, in a culture whose literature, art and music she has cherished since childhood, Katherine revels in speaking her ‘second language’ and the beauty of Prague. But her year of quiet reflection is complicated by a love triangle with an activist and a reclusive cellist. And she readily accepts the opportunity offered by her new Czech friends to join dangerous covert resistance against a hard-line regime in place since the ‘brotherly assistance’ of the Warsaw Pact invasion.
As she discovers new purpose translating and smuggling human rights reports out to the West and blacklisted books in, Katherine feels that opposing the kind of tyranny that has hurt her family and millions of others is a special kind of music…
FREE SHORT STORY
I am still fascinated by the contrasts between them. Paris represents reason and the enlightenment. Prague is a medieval and Baroque city associated with mystery. The wide boulevards of Paris are vistas leading to major monuments of French culture, and many of them represent classical architecture, with its straight columns and linear window treatments: the Louvre, the Church of the Madeleine, the 19th century housing designed by Baron Hausmann. Prague’s Old Town has preserved the torturous narrow streets of its medieval origins, and the left bank, Malá strana, the slightly more spacious winding lanes laid out during the Counter Reformation. Prague is known as the “City of a Hundred Spires”, and it could just as easily be called the “City of a Hundred Domes”. Its churches, palaces and town homes feature curves and counter curves, broken pediments and rounded arches in their window treatments.