Login / Search

Books in English

Book in letters - Pleading Guilty of Innocence


I have met my Norwegian friend Per in Prague 1968.  In times without internet, the letters have been exchanged frequently, nearly everybody had  pen friends abroad. But usually the correspondence slowed down with time and then completely died - people of my generation will remember it. The exceptional story behind this book is that we have remained friends for 45 years by now, and enjoy keeping in touch although the technical means we use are quite different nowadays. And even more exceptional thing - Per has kept all my letters so that I could make this book out of them - with added pictures and summaries of decades  it became sort of chronicle of our generation, absolutely authentic, containing our success and failure, with even no chance to correct spelling and grammar mistakes.  Bellow I have added links  to download the book which is split into two sections.

Author´s Introductory Note

It was a beautiful spring 1968 in Prague,  hope and love  in the air. Ivana  studied Foreign Trade and lived at a boarding school. As the  best typist of her class she was selected to type a thesis of Jiří,  a son of a friend of the director of her  school. That was the reason why she spent quite some time in Jiří´s family and when he graduated at the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences of the Czech Technical University, she was invited to his  graduation ceremony. Besides the family members, there was another interesting guest of Norwegian nationality, his name was Per. That was a start of  friendship between the two which survived more than forty years.  The intensity of  contacts varied according to their life situation, but if needed they had always been there one for the other. Unfortunately, in a turmoil of Ivana´s moving to various places, Per´s letters to her  have not been saved. However, even one sided information about this lifelong friendship expressed in Ivana´s letters to Per gives an overview not only about their lives, but also about the reflected history and philosophy, about their hopes,  books they were reading and songs they were listening to. In the times when even sms messages are shortened by abbreviations, it might be of interest to read these hand written letters and to remember the times when to type a personal letter would have been considered as impolite (Ivana started to type some of her letters at the beginning of nineties). For those who like to remember, there is a chapter at the beginning of every decade (sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties) which summarizes the main events in the history, science and culture (music, film, literature) of those periods. The selection makes no claim to be complete, it is as subjective as any choice limited to two pages for each era only could be, including especially those events which were of importance to Ivana and Per, therefore also concentrating more on Angola, Cuba, India, United States, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Norway. Every decade is  accompanied by photos, some of them connected with visits of Per in Czechoslovakia and Ivana’s visits in Norway. Letters from the recent period might  be published later in an extra book,  most of them were already sent  by email. This  miraculous invention enabled to a lot of  people who live separated by distance to be in touch on  every day basis. So, this book is meant  not only as a melancholic dive into the past of traditional letter writing culture but also as a praise of new technologies which  should make keeping lifelong friendships much easier than it was the case for our generation. 

Nashik, India, June 2010

This book is dedicated to Lucie, Petra, Georg Stephan and Peter Nicolai.  




My life has never been  boring, but it became most hectic in the first half of  seventies and first half of nineties with  ups and downs which I was sharing in letters with my dearest friend Per. Having two daughters, Lucy and Petra, born in the eighties, has always been a major source of joy,  although I have not been spared the usual maternal anxieties either. In the second half of the nineties, I met George, who became 8 years later my second husband. We have been leading life  full of adventures in business and private life,   enjoying extensive traveling - we got married in 2005. That part of my life could have also been  followed in various emails and postcards to Per, but they are not part of this book any more. However, the most interesting thing is   that my adult life adventure started 1970 by hitch hiking to India and that I have come back to work and live in this country with George thirty six years later, in 2006.  Fate sometimes works in a most enigmatic way...  A few of our joint photos with George from the late nineties follow,  to complete the picture ...

See the links to the book below in two parts.