Daniela Kapitáňová was born in Komárno, a Slovak town on the Danube. She trained as a theatre director in Prague, and directed in both Slovak and Czech theatres. She works for Slovak Radio, writes opinion pieces and teaches creative writing at the University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra. ‘Samko Tále’s Cemetery Book’ was published in 2000 under the pseudonym of the narrator, and remains a bestseller in its fourth edition. It has been translated into Czech, Swedish, French, German, Arabic, Polish, Japanese and English.

Julia Sherwood is a freelance translator. She grew up in Czechoslovakia, has lived in Germany and the UK and is currently based in Chapel Hill, NC. Her book-length translations include ‘Samko Tále’s Cemetery Book’ by Daniela Kapitáňová and ‘Freshta’ by Petra Procházková. She is Asymptote’s Editor-at-large for Slovakia and chairs the NGO Rights in Russia.

This is an excerpt from Samko Tále’s Cemetery Book(Garnett Press, 2011), reprinted with kind permission from the publisher and translator.