The Equestrienne by Uršuľa Kovalyk (tr. Julia and Peter Sherwood)

a nutshell: 80 pages of a stunningly unique world through the eyes of a young girl in an eccentric (matriarchal) family in the years before & after former Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution

a line: “We swapped our barbed wire cage for one made of gold”

an image: when Granny used to say Mum had a clitoris for a brain, Karolína would picture a beautiful flower inside her head – a kind of gladiolus

a thought: from its 10/10 opening to its equally fabulous ending, I found this book absolutely spell-binding; my main thought is I need to reread it

a fact: after reading the novella I learned Kovalyk is a poet, fiction writer, playwright & social worker from eastern Slovakia; these various ‘hats’ totally make sense considering the text’s poetic feel / social commentary


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