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Monika Zgustova was born in Prague and lives in Barcelona, Spain. She has published seven books, including novels, short stories, a play, and a biography. Her novel Silent Woman was a runner-up for the National Award for the Novel, given by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, and will be published by Feminist Press in 2014.

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The Silent Woman

Monika Zgustova

Translated by Mathhew Tree. Foreword by Norman Manea.

A rapturous novel of love, longing, and exile, The Silent Woman depicts a twentieth century woman's life against a backdrop of war and political turmoil.

Sylva, half Czech and half German, is born into an aristocratic family and lives in a castle outside Prague. She marries a man she doesn't love and is seduced by the joyful madness of Paris in the 1920s as an ambassador's wife. When the Nazis force her to state her loyalty, she capitulates, not realizing how this decision will inform and haunt the rest of her life. Sylva's story is interwoven with a contemporary sex chronicle of her son Jan, a world-renowned mathematician and émigré living in the United States, who exudes the restlessness of a man without a country.

"The Silent Woman is the work of a sensitive, cultivated, skilled, and original writer who deserves our full attention and admiration."

Norman Manea, author of The Hooligan's Return

"Monika Zgustova's exhilarating novel captures the passion of a century in turmoil."

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, author of Hiroshima in the Morning

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