Love and Freedom
This is a brave book that deserves to better known. Rosemary Kavan, an Englishwoman who was married to a Czech, unforgettably portrays life in post-war Prague, from the early optimistic years, through the nightmare of the Stalinist purges up to false Prague Spring of 1968 and its aftermath.
Her husband, Pavel, a devoted Communist, was a victim of the show-trials of the early 1950s. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He died in 1960 soon after his release. Branded a traitor's wife, Rosemary Kavan struggled to support herself and her two sons. She worked as a translator, a drill operator in a factory, and a tracer of blue-prints for the state railways.
In the mid-1960s she became involved in the student reform movement, but the Russian invasion of 1968 drove both her sons into exile and finally she herself was forced to escape to England.
'A remarkable autobiography, the story of a tragic disillusionment, political and personal, told with invincible humour.' Graham Greene
'Private experience is the foreground of Rosemary Kavan's memoirs, as it is for the most ordinary lives. But in her case, the private and public history are inextricable, and in recounting the former she gives extraordinary glimpses of the latter ... the overwhelming impression left by this book is one of warmth, true comradeship, courage and hope.' Timothy Garton Ash
' An outstanding memoir, testifying to the courage, humanity, and indomitable spirit of the author, anyone wishing to know what life was like in Czechoslovakia between 1945 and 1970 will not find a better guide.' George Theiner, Index on Censorship
'A warm and human witness to what amounts to the surreal transformation of a people and civilization.' Arthur Miller
Sub-categories: Biography & Memoir
Genres & Themes: Exile; Faber Finds; Communism; Post-war; Cold War; Revolution; Women
Related Articles: On Rosemary Kavan and 'Love and Freedom' Love and Freedom: An Epilogue by Jan Kavan Reading 'Love and Freedom' by Rosemary Kavan
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