The Sorrowful Eyes of Hannah Karajich
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.