on 12 February 2002
Schoolchildren in the US commonly ask each other: 'What are you?' You're not allowed to answer 'American'; you have to declare your origins. Patricia Hampl's are Czech. Like many Americans she went to find her roots. Unlike them, she has written a fascinating, at times lyrical, account of being in Czechoslovakia under communism. She answers the other question we all ask: 'So what was it like then?'