Written by Margita Figuli (1909–1995), the newest volume in the CEU Press Classics series, a pure and delicate, passionate story of love, was first published in 1940 and became an instant success among contemporary Slovak readers. The story of childhood lovers Peter, the young commercial traveler, and local beauty Magdalena, threatened by the rich Zapotocny, who marries the girl against her will, appeared when the chaos of war was sweeping through all of Europe and the foundations of faith in the goodness of man were being violently shaken. The sharply drawn characters, the lyrical evoking of nature, and the fast pace of the plot garnered unprecedented popularity for the short novel, which in subsequent years appeared with certain cuts and insensitive interpolations – whether with the author’s agreement or without it – and in various translations. This first English translation is based on the original edition.
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