The Sorrowful Eyes of Hannah Karajich

$17.95 / €13.95 / £11.99
with an Introduction by Miroslav Holub
Part of series: 
Publication date: 
200 pages

The Sorrowful Eyes of Hannah Karajich is a lyrical, deeply moving story of love and the pain of emancipation, set in the now vanished world of rural East European Jewish village life. Hanna is the most beautiful girl in all Polona, a Hasidic community in the remote province of Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia. Involvement in the exciting new movement of Zionism takes her away to a commune in a nearby town. But there she meets and falls in love with the strangely named Ivo Karajich: a Jew, yet not a Jew. The agonizing drama that follows, plants into her beautiful almond-shaped eyes the hard grain of sorrow that her children, too, will inherit.

Olbracht's novella is both a great love story and a marvellous portrait of a world that modernity threatened and Hitler destroyed.

"I greatly enjoyed reading "The Sorrowful Eyes of Hannah Karajich", which is arguably Olbracht's finest work. ...This is a haunting and unsettling story. As Hannah and Ivo return to Slovakia in his little yellow car we know that both of them have, and will always have, sorrowful eyes. A remarkable journey, a remarkable story, and a remarkable writer complimented in this Central European University edition by a wonderful introduction by Miroslav Holub and a sensitive translation by Iris Urwin Lewitova. A very fine read."
"...a book like this is truly a gift. ...The story of Hannah was ranked ninth on the list of 'the century's best Czech books' in a recent poll."
"The translation by Urwin Lewitová preserves the atmosphere and tone of the original and has lost none of its power since it was first published in 1964. The introduction by Czech poet and essayist Miroslav Holub, written shortly before his untimely death in 1998 is an informative and insightful introduction to Olbracht, his post-communist literary reputation, and the Ruthenian Jews."