OVERRIDE

When Eve Was Naked

Stories of a Life's Journey

Josef Skvorecký

Picador

When Eve was Naked: Stories of a Life's Journey is the most comprehensive collection of Josef Škvorecký's short fiction to date, and stands as a wonderful introduction to the work of a writer who has been internationally acknowledged for his passion, his wry humor, his insights into human and political frailty, and his inimitable style.

The stories run in a chronological sequence and form a semiautobiographical portrait of Škvorecký's own life. Many are narrated by Škvorecký's beloved fictional alter ego—the tenderhearted cynic Danny Smiricky—and they follow the sweep of the twentieth century, bearing witness to some of its most eventful and tragic times: from bitter-sweet memories of prewar Prague, to the brutality of the Nazi occupation and the terror of World War II, to the arrival of Russian tanks in Czechoslovakia and Škvorecký's enforced exile abroad.

In the title story, eight-year-old Danny falls in love for the first time with six-year-old Eve; at sixteen he watches his Jewish German teacher, Mr. Katz, herded onto a train with his family and taken away; later he witnesses a Communist putsch. While Škvorecký flees Czechoslovakia in 1968, Danny finds a new career for himself in Canada. The later stories in the collection examine the struggles of Danny—now a tenured professor at Edenville, a Canadian university—to understand his politically innocent and alarming self-centered students.

Masterfully written, humorous, and wise, When Ever Naked Naked is a remarkably revealing work of fiction.

REVIEWS

Praise for When Eve Was Naked

“Pick up Josef Skvorecky’s When Eve Was Naked and, I promise, you will be enriched, enlightened, entertained and more...I can’t say enough about the delights of this volume. It’s wise, it’s witty, it’s poignant, it’s wry.” —The Washington Post

“The stories read to some extent like a diary, capturing an emotional landscape in lucid detail...A delight only Skvorecky could write.” —The New York Times Book Review

“The twenty-four stories in this collection are bubbles in time, verbal dioramas depicting a benign quality (innocence, comfort or just amiable confusion) destined for extinction. Refreshingly, Skvorecky...handles the heaviness of his material with a feather touch.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Josef Skvorecký

  • Josef Skvorecky is the author of The Bass Saxophone and The Engineer of Human Souls, among other works. He is the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and Canada’s Governor General’s Award. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, and Venice, Florida.
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Available Formats and Book Details

When Eve Was Naked

Stories of a Life's Journey

Josef Skvorecký

  • Trade Paperback

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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