When Eve Was Naked : Stories of a Life's Journey
Author(s): Josef Skvorecký
This autobiography in stories, When Eve Was Naked, takes us through a most remarkable life, from the innocence of prewar Prague through the horrors of the Nazi occupation and World War II. In the title story, narrated by Skvorecky's alter-ego Danny Smiricky, seven-year-old Danny falls in love for the first time; at sixteen he hides in a railway station and watches as his Jewish teacher is herded onto a train and taken away; and in 1968, as Russian tanks rolled into Prague, Skvorecky flees Czechoslovakia, taking Danny with him. In the collection's final stories, Danny begins his tenure as Professor Smiricky at a Canadian university and attempts to come to terms with the politically innocent and self-centered youth that flock to his courses.
“Pick up Josef Skvorecky's When Eve Was Naked and, I promise, you will be enriched, enlightened, entertained and more...I can't say enough about the delights of this volume. It's wise, it's witty, it's poignant, it's wry.” —The Washington Post
“The stories read to some extent like a diary, capturing an emotional landscape in lucid detail...A delight only Skvorecky could write.” —The New York Times Book Review
“The twenty-four stories in this collection are bubbles in time, verbal dioramas depicting a benign quality (innocence, comfort or just amiable confusion) destined for extinction. Refreshingly, Skvorecky...handles the heaviness of his material with a feather touch.” —San Francisco Chronicle