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Twisted Spoon Press

PO Box 21 - Preslova 12, 150 21 Prague 5, Czech Republic

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by Zuzana Brabcová

translated from the Czech by Tereza Novická

frontispiece by Rybka

Aviaries is a novella composed of random diary entries, vignettes, dreams, observations, interior monologues, meditations, short anecdotes, newspaper headlines, and excerpts from poetry and prose, central among which is
a passage from C.G. Jung's essay on the Kore. All these elements meld together in a collapse of time to create,
similar to the work of Unica Zürn and Leonora Carrington,
a phantasmagoria of the life of a woman navigating a city indifferent to those living on the margins. Interactions with other residents of Prague’s Smíchov district, characters who might be figments of her imagination, and the other women
in her life – infirm mother, artsy sister, absent, dumpster-diving daughter – have reached a point where fantasy and reality seamlessly merge. The death of Václav Havel in 2011 provides the opening, and from there the prose throbs in a kaleidoscope of contemporary news reports, flights of hallucination, wordplay, and metaphoric association to testify to what it is like to be alone and lost and indigent in a world that has stopped making sense. It is an unsparing vision of present-day Prague where life has become a morass of the bizarre and the grotesque.

Brabcová’s final novel before her unexpected death, Aviaries received the Josef Škvorecký Award in 2016 for best prose of the year and was shortlisted for the Magnesia Litera Book of the Year Award in 2017.


What others say:

A sophisticated testimony about social exclusion that oscillates between diary, dream entries, and phantasmagorical prose.

Literární noviny

Aviaries has a multifarious form, with the author alternating between short accounts of real events and imaginative stories. There is here a precision of expression pregnant with meaning, in which the core of matters emerge: subtlety and sensibility. Exactly the type of quality virtually taboo today.

MF Dnes

[Aviaries] puts us in a public sphere that has no use for those who are incompatible with the exigencies of the day, with the culture of youth, success, physical prowess. Brabcová is a superb stylist, and with this short book she has stepped beyond the wall of literary art that seldom allows for this type of social commentary and analysis.



ISBN 9788086264516
132 pp.
14 x 20 cm
softcover with flaps
1 b/w illustration
fiction : novel

cover by Dan Mayer

release dates:
UK: February 18, 2019
US: April 15, 2019

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