It can be hoped that this arresting volume of six pieces of her short fiction will make Timrava the pseudonym for Bozena Slancikova, a kindergarten teacher and writer in the first half of this century as well known here as she is in her native Czechoslovakia. Although written before World War II, the stories and one novella presented here often reveal a feminist sensibility. Strong female characters predominate, often bristling and rebelling against the constraints of middle-class society, including marriages of social and economic convenience. In one tale, an independent girl struggles against the concept of arranged marriages and celebrates romantic love. The novella, written in 1918, is a biting and sarcastic indictment of war and shows how even women can be swept up in the jingoist fervor that so often accompanies conflicts. The ``alluring land'' of the title piece is the United States, yet Timrava focuses not on those who emigrate but on those they leave behind. In all her work, she offers a fascinating window on a world long gone. Rudinsky, who teaches English at Oregon State University, provides a helpful introduction, putting the author's work in context. Aug.
The short stories and novella in this collection were written between 1896 and 1918 by Bozena Slancikova, a major Slovak writer who published under the pen name Timrava. The first two stories are trite romances, but the third, ``That Alluring Land,'' is a transitional story in which women begin to emerge as independent individuals. The author firmly establishes her capacity for creating strong female characters in ``No Joy at All'' and ``Great War Heroes.'' Local settings are not vividly described, plots are minimal, and women merely react to situations over which they have little control, bound as they are to society's mores and waves of historical events. Yet all this can be forgiven because the author's stripped-down, straightforward style enables readers to observe clearly and unemotionally the rarely described struggle of independent Eastern European women. Recommended, especially for women's studies collections.-- Olivia Opello, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Bozena Slancikova (1867-1951), who published her prose fiction under the pen name Timrava, is considered one of the most original authors in Slovak literature. Norma L. Rudinsky translates into English for the first time six of Timrava's stories and novellas which show Central European village life in the early 20th century. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)