Tereza Límanová (b. 1965) studied French and Czech at the Faculty of Arts in Prague, and Czech Studies at University College London. She currently teaches languages at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University. In 2014, Revolver Revue published her book Little House (Domeček), an autobiographical text centered around her childhood in Malá Strana, right in the middle of Prague’s oldest quarter. She translates from English and paints as well – to find out more about her art and its connection to the story of Cheeky, Lazy, Useless, go to terezalimanova.com.
September 2020, 264 pages
Available material: English sample
A funny, in-your-face autofiction that every imperfect woman will relate to
Tereza would love to be the perfect daughter, the perfect lover, and also the perfect wife and mother, just as her parents want her to be. But from the start she knows this won’t be easy. She loves to climb trees, avoids wearing skirts at all costs, stiletto heels don’t fit her feet, and, in her eyes, none of the men who are interested in her could ever measure up to the famous Czech writer Ludvík Vaculík. She tries to comply a little: she bakes; she takes on the challenge of knitting; she tries wearing lipstick and a skirt; and sometimes she even puts on high heels. It’s never enough. The female voices of her clan follow Tereza around day and night with their relentless demands. But when her first son is born, something breaks. After she gives birth, the strong bonds tying together grandmothers, mothers and daughters start to come undone.
The text is accompanied by original illustrations and photographs from the author’s family archives.
The autobiographical nature of Tereza Límanová’s writing does not come across as showing off; she is after a true self-exploration, wanting to bear witness to her own life.”
– Lidové noviny
The old man sitting on a bench on the traffic island lifts his eyes in surprise. What’s that under your dress? he shouts. I freeze. A few young guys loitering nearby look in my direction. They’re waiting. Their prying eyes press against me. Do I get offended and stay silent, disdainful, like this is completely beneath me? Like it can’t touch me? Or do I tell this perv, Fuck you, old man. That might be beneath me, though. I can’t think of a single zinger. Has he realized that I’m not wearing a bra? Or has he just worked it out from my bare shoulders? Exactly like back in high school, in a white top, standing in front of the headmaster, I’m mute. I don’t want him to think… don’t want to seem like I’m… but I also don’t want to stand here like a statue, acting as if nothing happened. As if I’m deaf. I don’t want to pretend.