Ivana Dobrakovová

17. 4. 1982
general fiction, other, literature, poetry

Reviews and praise

"Bellevue interrogates our notions of “wellness” – both physical and mental – and presents us with a flawed narrator who, though frustrating in her constant inability to empathise or connect with the people around her, is a believable representation of the isolation caused by mental illness. We see enough of Blanka’s inner thoughts that we can come to understand her, but we cannot get through to her: this encouraged (and thwarted) intimacy is one of the most striking features of the book." Helen Vassallo, Translating Women, January 2020

"It is the confidence with which Dobrakovová conveys a young woman’s unravelling and her alienation from her peers that most impresses in this powerful novel." Lucy Popescu, European Literature Network, October 2019

"Ivana Dobrakovová is well known in her native Slovakia as a translator of Elena Ferrante. In Bellevue she shows even greater ability than Ferrante to get into the mind of a rebellious adolescent girl." Donald Rayfield, "Madness & Misanthropy," Literary Review, October 2019

"Dobrakovová, who this year won the European Union Prize for Literature, is principally a writer of short stories, with Bellevue being her first novel. She is also a translator of French and Italian literature into Slovak, best known for bringing Elena Ferrante into Slovak translation. Bellevue is her first work to appear in English translation, and judging by its quality, it won’t be her last." Elie, Two in a Teacup

"Bellevue introduces the talented Ivana Dobrakovová to the English-speaking world. The novel's depiction of mental illness will stick with the reader long after the book comes to an end. I'm not sure I've read a more striking representation of paranoid delusion." Seth Rogoff, The Rupture