48 Following

Lagraziana's Kalliopeion

This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.

My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.



Rick Zedník: A Country Lost, Then Found

A Country Lost, Then Found - Rick Zedník

AT the end of January I won another giveaway on Goodreads: 'A Country Lost, Then Found' by Rick Zedník. It's a book somewhere between autobiography, biography and non-fiction on a chapter of recent Central European history. Being Austrian I was quite familiar with the outlines of this history. However, the writer tells his own story exploring his family's history in Slovakia from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the present, getting to know his Slovak family after the Velvet Revolution and the Velvet Divorce, and learning the country's language while living Slovakia's transition from one federal half of Communist Czechoslovakia to a western-style independant state that was to become a member of the European Union.

The novel is a very personal account of Rick Zedník's visit to Slovakia's capital Bratislava that soon captivated him and made him spend several years there. He stayed with his grand-parents who had remained in the country all their lives while their two children emigrated to the USA at different times. His grand-father having fallen ill with a brain cancer, he helped his grand-mother to take care of him until the end. With expatriate friends he co-founded the Slovak Spectator, an English-language newspaper, in Bratislava. And he met his future wife. They were adventurous years for Rick Zedník as well as Slovakia!

The book is widely written in journalistic style with several references to websites to further information. At the end of the book many photos from the author's private album are to be found along with a family tree going back to the late 1800s.

All in all, I enjoyed the read and learnt some interesting new details about the history of Slovakia, a neighbouring country of Austria, that I didn't know or that I didn't pay much attention to when I was coming of age.