Books by Josef Hirsal

A BOHEMIAN YOUTH by Josef Hirsal
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

A Bohemain Youth ($39.95; paper $14.95; Dec.; 81 pp.; 0-8101-1223-X, 0-8101-1592-1): An inventive and clever parody of the coming-of-age tale, set in Czechoslovakia's First Republic between the world wars and consisting of a brief sketch of (its protagonist) ``Josef Hiral's'' childhood and youth, followed by comically detailed ``Notes,'' ``Notes on the Notes,'' and so on. Its modernist trappings nicely contrast with an episodic and anecdotal pointillist portrait of a village youngster confusingly buffeted between his respectable, if eccentric, family (his father is the town bandmaster) and the alluring world of erotic possibilities variously incarnated by a homosexual child molester and a good-natured slut. No serious harm is done, and the result is nostalgic, agreeably sexy, and quite charming. Read full book review >