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Books in Czech

Voyage to a Distant Dream
(Putování za dalekým snem)

Publishing House: Togga

Year of Publishing: 2016
hard cover, 400 pages, 80 photos
ISBN 978-80-7476-092-1

A well-known Czech singer and song writer in the sixties, Karel Kryl, composed an emotional song called My Generation.  If you do not belong to this generation, you might be surprised by diversity of a life story from times which must seem so distant to you.  Since early childhood days, the main character of this novel Ernestine (Arnoštka in Czech) nourishes some ideas how she would like to spend her life. These ideas are changing during the time only a little.  She takes everything life has to offer, and at the same time succeeds to comply with the adage “live and let live”.  She has to get through a series of crises and adventures, personal and historical twists. If you do belong to her generation, you might feel close to her and sympathize with her.
In her youth, Ernestine could not imagine ​​living in countries like Angola, Cuba or India nor a possibility of getting acquainted with so many other countries. However, she always liked meeting people from various social classes and found a lot of friends among them. Later on, during extensive travels, she realized that the vast majority of people, regardless of their religion and colour of the skin, shared identical dreams with her. Whilst voyaging to her distant dreams she found out that the ideas of ​​a happy life are very similar. Therefore also photos in the novel are selected in a way to show the external diversity of people whom Ernestine met - in contrast to their similar dreams and desires.
The book is a novel, but parts of it are a travelogue novel. It offers excursions into a history of exotic countries and a look into some individual fates of their inhabitants. It also contains reflections and journal entries of the main character. The flow of ideas and narrative is interspersed with dialogues, memories and insights into the future. The action takes place in about sixty years and shows a circle of one life.
The novel contains photos of people from various nations.

It was a very difficult decision for me which photos should be selected. I believe that in the end, the choice in the book is representative enough, however, some of my favourite photos did not make it to the final. I could not resist and made out of them a small mosaique so that they could please my readers at least on the webpage. 




I.                   The World of Childhood                                                  

II.                  From the Village to the City                                           

III.                At the Crossroads                                                           

IV.                 The Indian Adventure                                                    

V.                   Plaisir d´amour                                                              

VI.                 Search                                                                             

VII.               The End of Bohemians                                                    

VIII.             Journey to Africa                                                             

IX.                 Family Intermezzo in the Czechlands                              

X.                  Habanos, Cuba Libre, La Revolución                              

XI.                Stormy Years                                                                     

XII.               What will happen next?                                                     

XIII.             Travels with Frederic                                                         

XIV.              Adventurers on the Road                                                  

XV.                On the Indian Subcontinent                                              

XVI.              In the Maelstrom of Globalization                                     

XVII.            Stand by Me                                                                      

XVIII.          Clouds are Gathering over Nashik                                  

XIX.              From the Pyramids to the Geishas                                

XX.               From Islam to Buddhism                                               

XXI.             India, a Country of Eternal Surprises                             

XXII.           Full Circle    

List of the photographs
Photographs actually published in the novel are only illustrative - they mostly show people from various countries in interesting situations. They are not directly related to the story, however, they originate from the countries mentioned in the book, and are timewise connected with the period of the relevant chapter.

Prague in the sixties – frontispiece 2-3

I.      Village in the Czech-Moravian Highlands 10

II.     Prague in the sixties 27, 30, 35

III.    West Berlin (Brandenburg Gate) 40

        West Berlin (Berlin Wall) 45

        West Berlin 48, 49

IV.    Afghanistan (Hindukush) 57

        Afghanistan (Kabul) 64

        Pakistan (Lahore) 71

        Pakistan (Karachi) 76

V.    Romania (Moldavia) 83, 86, 87, 90

VI.    Odessa 97

        Odessa (Potemkin Stairs) 100

VII.   Sweden 109

        Norway 114, 115

VIII. Island of St. Thomas and Prince 123

        Angola 128, 135, 140

IX.    Armenia 151, 154

X.     Cuba (Havana) 161, 166, 175

XI.    New York 184, 191, 194, 198, 199

XII.   Hong Kong 204, 211, 216, 221

XIII.  French Polynesia (Bora Bora) 228

         Hawaii (Oahu) 237

         French Polynesia (Moorea) 244

XIV.  Morocco (Atlas Mountains) 253

         Morocco (Marrakesh) 256, 263

XV.   India (Mumbai) 270

         India (Agra) 275

         India (Jaipur) 278

         India (Nashik) 279

XVI.   Germany (Hamburg) 287

          Great Britain (Edinburgh) 290

          Great Britain (Haworth Yorkshire) 295

XVII.  Brazil (Amazon) 300

          Brazil (Manaus) 303

XVIII. Vietnam (Mekong River) 308

          Vietnam (Hanoi) 316

          Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) 317

XIX.   Egypt (Cairo) 325

         Japan (Miyajima) 332

         Japan (Tokyo) 339

         China (Shanghai) 346

         China  (Guilin) 353

XX.   Sri Lanka (Pinnawala) 358

         Sri Lanka (Kandy) 361

XXI.  India (wedding, State of Maharashtra) 368

         India (festivity Dussehra, Nashik) 375

         India (thread ceremony of a Brahmin boy) 380

         India (wedding, State of Kerala) 385

XXII. Nepal (Kathmandu) 389

Tanzania (Ngorongoro Conservation Area) 394–395

Interview with the author about her life was transmitted by Czech Radio Ostrava in June 2016.


October 2019

More than 3 years are gone since The Voyage to a Distant Dream was published. It is a pleasure for me to say that most of the books are sold out. I am happy that the novel found its place in the exhibitions and in the households of my friends. As always the books remain after traveling my second great passion.