Zamatový rozvod / Velvet Divorce

Katarína comes from Prague to Bratislava to spend Christmas with her parents and brother. Two important people are missing at the table: her sister Dora, who moved to America years ago, and her Czech husband Evžen. The family has grown accustomed to her sister's absence, but Katarína is reluctant to explain why her husband is missing. She also meets her university friends in Slovakia, especially Viera, who moved to Italy on a scholarship and does not like returning home. They exchange experiences of unhappy relationships and difficult integration abroad. In between their personal and family memories, images from the recent history of their native country emerge – from communist censorship and empty shops, to the 1990's and the separation of Czechoslovakia.

Velvet Divorce is a story of troubling absence, of unspoken desires, of betrayal and the complex search for self. Slovak author Jana Karšaiová chose Italian as the literary language for her debut novel and was nominated for the prestigious Strega Prize in 2022.

The publication of the book in Slovak was supported by the Arts Council from public funds. The translation was published thanks to the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.



Number of pages



Slovak language



Book category

General Fiction

Original language

Slovak language





Book cover



Eva Mesárová