Petra Hůlová (b .1979) is a fiction writer and the recipient of several literary awards, including the Czechia’s highest literary recognitions – the Magnesia Litera, the Josef Škvorecký Award and the Jiří Orten Award. She studied language, culture, and anthropology at universities in Prague, Ulan Bator and New York, and was a Fulbright scholar in the USA. Her first novel, All This Belongs to Me (2002, Paměť mojí babičce), won the Magnesia Litera Award for Discovery of the Year. The English translation by Alex Zucker won the ALTA National Translation Award. Her fourth novel, Plastic Three-bedroom (2006, Umělohmotný třípokoj), won the Jiří Orten Prize for the best work of prose or poetry by an author of thirty or under; Alex Zucker’s English translation received the PEN Translates Award. Hůlová’s fifth novel, Taiga Station (2008, Stanice Tajga) won the Josef Škvorecký Prize. A total of ten novels and two plays of hers have been translated into more than ten languages. Fox Eyes is her latest book, first for children. She lives in Prague.
August 2021, 384 pages
Illustrations by Nikkarin
Available material: English sample
Fox Eyes is a story about 13-year-old brother-and-sister twins Eda and Zuzka, who decide to change the course of history. In their bathroom they discover a tunnel that leads from present-day Prague back to the time of the Soviet occupation in 1968. The two teens save the life of their grandfather, whom they never had the chance to meet, and together they fly to Moscow to defend Czech freedom. Will they succeed? And if they do, what consequences will it have for their life in the present?
“In her first young adult novel, writer Petra Hůlová was not afraid to let her imagination run wild, sending two young heroes from the present directly to the beginning of the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.”
“Petra Hůlová gave her imagination free reign in Fox Eyes. Her mind’s creations are playful and charming. She depicts one of the most traumatic events in modern Czech history, or rather its alternative course, with undisguised and appropriately infectious enthusiasm. (…) The playfulness of her prose, which has the potential to spark young readers’ interest in what actually happened back then, is underlined by the illustrations of one of the most valued Czech comic artists, Nikkarin.”
“While Hůlová moves towards the future in her previous prose, in Fox Eyes she returns to the past. The way she does it is rather radical: she lets her characters rewrite the past – for the better, as she sees it.”