Milena Jesenská (1896-1944) is first and foremost known as a friend and translator of Franz Kafka. The letters she inspired him to write, Letters to Milena, are among the most beautiful and inspiring love letters in world literature. Not only a passionate woman, she was also a dedicated journalist whose work encompassed the birth of her own Czechoslovak nation as well as the persecutions and atrocities of the Nazis. Steve Sem-Sandbergs novel chronicles the dramatic life and times of Milena Jesenská, from her early years as a spirited teenager in fin-de-siècle Prague, through her candid relationship with Kafka to her final years in the concentration camp of Ravensbrück where she died, a living inspiration to the other prisoners who were to remember her for a long time afterwards.

Ravensbrück was nominated for the August Prize in 2003 and the Nordic Council’s Prize in 2004.

First published by Albert Bonniers förlag, Sweden, 2003.
400 pages.

August Prize 2003 (nomination)
Nordic Council’s Prize 2004 (nomination)

Czech Republic, Paseka
Finland, Like
The Netherlands, Ambo Anthos
Poland, Czarne
Romania, Humanitas
Sweden, Albert Bonniers Förlag, Elib AB