Fields of light : a son remembers his heroic father /
Joseph Hurka.
Wainscott, N.Y. : Pushcart Press, c2001.
xi, 201 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
More Details
Wainscott, N.Y. : Pushcart Press, c2001.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 199-201)
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Joseph Hurka's stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Alaska Quarterly, and elsewhere. He teaches at Tufts University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2001-04-16:
In 1991, Hurka traveled to Czechoslovakia with a couple of goals in mind: visit his aunt and learn about what happened to his father's native country and his father during the years of Communist rule. The result is a poignant memoir that intersperses the gripping story of his family's history and his father's anti-Communist fight with more leisurely descriptions of his own visit to Prague. As Hurka visits the Czech capital, he provides a welcome travelogue to a beautiful city that was just emerging from its gray Communist past and being discovered as a tourist destination. The passages on 1991 Czechoslovakia serve as breathers from the drama of this nonfiction thriller. Soon after the Communist takeover in the late 1940s, his father joined the Resistance. With loving prose, Hurka, who teaches at Tufts University, depicts his father's courageous struggle to ferry other anti-Communists into Germany and his time in jail after the Czech authorities caught him. What emerges in addition to Hurka's respect for his father are the difficult choices that Communism forced onto individuals and the dignity that was still possible. For a while after escaping from Czechoslovakia in the early '50s, Hurka's father lived in England and worked as a spy for the U.S. government, his family unaware of his whereabouts. In this era of memoirs that trace family dysfunction and the wounds children suffered at the hands of their parents, Hurka's tribute to his father is a welcome change. This fine memoir is the winner of Pushcart's 19th annual Editors' Book Award (nominated by Andre Dubus). Illus. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2001-05-01:
Political struggles, lost and won, are full of unsung heroes. Hurka's lyrical work insures that such anonymity won't befall his father, an anti-Communist resistance fighter. In a poignant style that gracefully interweaves thoughts from a travel diary on Hurka's pilgrimage to modern Prague with dream sequences and bitter historical reality, the author traces the terrible and glorious history of the Czech Republic through the lives of his family and particularly his father, who was imprisoned by Czechoslovakia's Communist government and after winning his release continued his work with the Underground. In this book, we get a thumbnail sketch of a centuries-long struggle for independence and are made to feel the sacrifices of "ordinary" men and women. One's heart goes out to the people caught in the unfortunate geopolitical accident of the 20th century that placed Czechoslovakia between Nazism and communism. The reader comes away with the feeling that in the quest for freedom there are very few ordinary people. Recommended for all collections. [This book is winner of Pushcart's 19th Annual Editors' Book Award. Ed.] Wendy Miller, Lexington P.L., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, March 2001
Booklist, April 2001
Publishers Weekly, April 2001
Library Journal, May 2001
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Main Description
"An enduring love song from a son to his heroic father. Immensely moving."-Andre Dubus
Table of Contents
Prologuep. 3
Coming to Bohemiap. 7
Ancient Voicesp. 30
The Martyrs, The Cathedral, and an Evening at 139 Vinohradskap. 57
A Reckoningp. 71
A Hospital Storyp. 99
Ghosts in the Golden Cityp. 123
Stones and Castlesp. 141
The Saint, The Priest, and the Clockp. 156
Shadowsp. 169
Liberationp. 185
A Prayerp. 194
Selected Bibliographyp. 199
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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