Nearly lost to censorship and
untranslated for decades, Heda
Margolius Kovály’s sole novel knits
her own terrifying experiences
in Soviet Prague into a powerful
work of literary suspense.
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1950s Prague is a city of numerous small
terrors, of political tyranny, corruption and sur-
veillance. There is no way of knowing whether
one’s neighbor is spying for the government, or
what, under pressure, one’s supposed friend
will say 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.
But there are larger terrors, too. When a boy is
murdered at the cinema where his aunt works,
an investigation delves into the personal lives
of the cinema’s female ushers, each of whom,
it turns out, is hiding a dark secret of her own.
“A luminous testament from a dark time, Innocence is at once a clever
hommage to Raymond Chandler, and a portrait of a city—Prague—
caught and held fast in a state of Kafkaesque paranoia.
Only a great survivor could have written such a book.”—JOHN BANVILLE
PUB: JUNE 2, 2015 • ISBN 978-1-61695-496-3
$25.95 • HARDCOVER • 5. 5 X 8. 25”
Available for request on Edelweiss and NetGalley
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