Zuzana's Breath

Jakuba Katalpa

Jakuba Katalpa: Zuzana's Breath

Original title: Zuzanin dech

Genre: novel


Host, 2020

ISBN: 978-80-275-0241-7

Pages: 309


All the things that keep a person alive…


There are three of them. When they are children, the world is in balance. Later, everything changes. She loves one of the others. Both the others love her.

Zuzana Liebeskindová’s father owns a sugar refinery. She has a care-free existence, wanting for nothing and surrounded by love. Strands of burnt sugar drift about in the air. In the small town of Holašovice, the 1930s is a time of sweetness. 

Zuzana enters adolescence during the German occupation. Because of her Jewish origins, her fate is predetermined: transport, concentration camp.

Although Zuzana’s friends Hanuš and Jan both remain in Holašovice, their paths diverge. The war ends and Zuzana returns from the concentration camp, to the discovery that she has lost even more than she thought. After all she has been through, is she still capable of love? And does she even have any choice in the matter?

This dramatic tale does not examine questions of guilt and punishment, nor the debt demanded by great moments in history. With subtlety and surgical precision, Jakuba Katalpa examines what lies beneath the surface. Without passing judgement, she describes and records with great sensitivity those things that allow a person to go on.

More books from the author