Alena Machoninová: Hella and life after life
 – Czechia

Alena Machoninová is a translator and writer born in Prague in 1980. She graduated in Russian studies and comparative literature from Charles University and returned to the Czech Republic in 2023 after living in Russia for a number of years. Machoninová is a translator, literary historian and essayist. Her first prose novel, Hella, became the Magnesia Litera Book of the Year in 2024. The book combines the genres of the epistolary novel, reportage and the essay, and builds on the famous novel Moscow-Border by Jiří Weil. It follows the fate of the main character, Helena Frischer, who served a decade in a Russian gulag and depicts her post-war “afterlife”.


Photo © Tomáš Vodňanský