The Bitter Life of Božena Nêmcová: A Biographical Collage Review

Abigail Heiniger PhD, Lincoln Memorial University


Part 1 constructs a fragmented sense of Nêmcová’s brief life as a Czech nationalist and fairy-tale writer in mid-nineteenth-century Bohemia, where she shattered conventions by taking lovers and smoking cigars. Part 2 is a memoir of Ervick’s failing marriage and struggle to learn Czech while contemplating reading, writing, and happy endings. Later sections include a greater number of excerpts from Nêmcová’s letters, as well as selections from scholarly texts about the Czech author.