Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street | Soho Press | Soho Press is an independent book publisher located in New York City.

Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street

Heda Margolius Kovály | Translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker

ISBN: 9781616954963

Published: June, 2015

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Hardcover $25.95

Paperback $14.95

Heda Margolius Kovály | Translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker

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Description

This rediscovered masterpiece captures a chilling moment in the stifling early days of communist Czechoslovakia.

1950s Prague is a city of numerous daily terrors, of political tyranny, corruption and surveillance. There is no way of knowing whether one’s neighbor is spying for the government, or what one’s...

This rediscovered masterpiece captures a chilling moment in the stifling early days of communist Czechoslovakia.

1950s Prague is a city of numerous daily terrors, of political tyranny, corruption and surveillance. There is no way of knowing whether one’s neighbor is spying for the government, or what one’s supposed friend will say under pressure to a State Security agent. A loyal Party member might be imprisoned or executed as quickly as a traitor; innocence means nothing for a person caught in a government trap. When a little boy is murdered at the cinema, the ensuing investigation sheds a little too much light on the personal lives of the cinema’s female ushers, each of whom is hiding a dark secret of her own.

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“Double lives, secrets, informers, microdots, and above all, lies . . . Set in post-war Prague, a repressive political maze, Innocence is a must-read, a psychological drama played out in crystal prose. Not only did Heda Margolius Kovály write an emotionally wrenching tale, she lived it during the 1950s Communist state. ”
—Cara Black
“This is an extraordinary memoir, so heartbreaking that I have reread it for months, unable to rise to the business of ‘reviewing’ less a book than a life repeatedly outraged by the worst totalitarians in Europe. Yet it is written with so much quiet respect for the minutiae of justice and truth that one does not know where and how to specify Heda Kovály’s splendidness as a human being.”
—The New York Times Book Review on Cruel Star
“Given thirty seconds to recommend a single book that might start a serious young student on the hard road to understanding the political tragedies of the twentieth century, I would choose this one. ”
—Clive James, Cultural Amnesia on Cruel Star
“One of the outstanding autobiographies of the century. ”
—San Francisco Chronicle on Cruel Star
“A masterpiece of memoir still awaiting its due.”
—The American Interest on Cruel Star
“Capturing the fear and oppression of living in a police state, this dark novel, reflective of its time and written by a writer who lived her material, will enthrall noir enthusiasts and readers of literary historical fiction. ”
–Library Journal
“Purely Chandleresque. ”
–Toronto Star