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Roast Zebra

Original title: Pečená zebra
Publisher: Mladá fronta, Praha, 2015
ISBN: 978-80-204-3856-0
272 pages
Modern Fiction

A novel based on real life stories, dealing with interracial relationships

In this novel Iva Pekárková writes about a modern-day phenomenon no-one has written about yet, that is, black-and-white relationships within the Czech Republic. She knows what’s going on in Prague streets and nightclubs as well as in sleepy Czech towns whose inhabitants may never have seen a “live” black man. She sets the “big world out there” against the often small minds of both Czechs and Africans, breaking a few taboos.

The reader gets acquainted with five main white female characters: Veronika who steps from a tough childhood right into multiple motherhood; Jitka the top manager who, chasing her career, forgets that there are more things to life; the self-centered Rene whose carefree life of nightclubs, drugs and numerous boyfriends ends in big trouble; the sweet and shy Amálka, deeply disappointed in life; and the social scientist Marcela who wants to suck in every aspect of life on her planet. All these protagonists are based on real-life characters and they have one thing in common: their partners of choice are black. In dashes of black-and-white, as well as many other colours, Iva Pekárková describes their destinies with both depth and humour.

 

Above this masterfully written narrative, there hovers a universal contrast of outlook on life and lifestyle in black-and-white. In the author’s rendition, the African man serves as a paradigm of life energy, strength and optimism, while the Euro-American white man wearily navigates the maze of his daily duties (which he doesn’t want to perform) and his rights (which he loudly demands). In Africa, life is a relentless struggle while in Europe or America, life is taken for granted. Blacks don’t worry about the future, they live to the max in the present; whites are bored, surrounded by luxury, safeness and securities, not wanting to understand their precarious nature.
Radim Kopáč, iDNES.cz

Other books by Iva Pekárková

2018
Modern Fiction
2017
Modern Fiction
2016
Modern Fiction
2013
Modern Fiction