David Short

Michal Mareš

The roots of the idea of translating Michal Mareš’s little book reach back into the 1970s, when, shortly after being able to add the word andělíčkářka ‘(backstreet) abortionist’ to my Czech vocabulary, I coincidentally happened on a copy of this eponymous ‘concise novel’ in the then well‑known second‑hand bookshop in Dlážděná Street in Prague. The author’s name meant nothing to me and I was actually first drawn to the book by its cover. Added to that, however, this copy carried the author’s autograph and a dedication to a so far unidentified Božena Černá.