A place of celebrations at the “mecca” of real estate and baby credit on Instagram. How Czech millennials age

From celebrations of “Mecca” certificates and secret surveillance of series instead of rings, to mortgage repayments and photos of seemingly carefree mothers with babies on Instagram. Author of the best-selling Ninety! Johana Fundová publishes a novel about aging millennials who sometimes look back on their teenage years with nostalgia. His name is Handsome, but straighten up! according to the message his peers heard from their parents.

The Book of Ninety! two years ago it sparked interest in the Czech market, which otherwise might only be around novelties from Radka Třeštíková or Alena Mornštajnová. He attacked the unwritten limit of ten thousand copies sold, which means a bestseller in the Czech Republic, and the publishing house finally made three reprints to an unexpected success. At the beginning of success, only the popular Pure 90 Facebook page, which is currently watched by more than 40,000 people.

Its founder and book author Johana Fundová began collecting photos reminiscent of the 1990s, when Western pop culture rapidly penetrated the Czech Republic – from the McDonald’s fast food chain to bizarre fads such as whistles and kidneys to the Wild Angel television series. In the bestseller, she supplemented the visual record of the time with her own recollections and celebrity essays, whose star rose sharply in the post-revolution era.

“I think the book has been helped a lot by the fact that Czechs like to look back. We like retro, which you can see during retro weeks at Lidl, but also the popularity of series like Tell. But during for a long time we mostly remembered the pretty face of socialism and “The book was published around the time of the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, when we started to go back more to the post-November period, and I know from the feedback from readers that people have often wanted to remember their childhood or adolescence in a comprehensive publication”, explains Fundová. dirty.

She was born in 1989, so the purple jacket, the Family Frost ice cream truck or the Call the Director show formed the backdrop of her childhood. “The decade we live in as children tends to be special for each of us. A person who was already an adult at the same time wouldn’t think a lot of 1990s stuff comes to life. He didn’t pay as much attention to them as if he were a child,” thinks Fund.

The spit fries were an adventure

Where the Ninety! are finished, his new book, Handsome, But Straighten! The author, who otherwise lives off of marketing, doesn’t like the novel’s box very much, as her light fiction debut puts it alongside art literature, but she’s really managed to capture the nostalgia of aging millennials in the novelty.

The first half of the book is set on the threshold of the millennium and follows three fellows who go to primary school before their paths diverge, one ends up predominating in the gymnasium, the other moves from Prague to a small town due to of their parents’ divorce. Like most children, the protagonists first deal with seemingly mundane things related to post-revolution pop culture, delight in celebrating testimonials in a “softie” or persuading their parents to buy them their first cell phone, so that they become classmates. .

“I was inspired by books like The Children of Bullerbyn, where nothing dizzying happens, but there is a beautifully portrayed world of children and the ordinary times one experiences at that age.” a great adventure for us. Or when my friends and I didn’t circle around to watch the show at home and our parents didn’t know about it. I hope readers will get into that atmosphere,” says Fundová.

I was embarrassed with Alcatel in class

When she thinks back to what she experienced in 2000, she remembers, as she always looked forward to, when a new issue of Bravo magazine appeared at the newsagent. “Some of my classmates were banned from Bravíčko, which luckily didn’t happen to us. Although my mother rolled her eyes when she saw that I was reading about sex in fifth grade, but at the same time, she knew if it tore out of my magazine, I would get it somewhere else,” he says.

A milestone for her was also when she received the Alcatel dream button with a cute antenna from her parents. “It was only recently that I found out that I might have been embarrassed with my classmates because his name was Alcas**. When I let people vote on a Facebook group for know which cell phone one of the main characters would want, I thought Alcatel would definitely win the poll, but it turns out everyone was cheering for Nokia and my phone for them at the time was Alcas** “, laughs Fundová.

The “beautiful, but straighten up” message, which ended up in the title of the novel, she heard from her mother when she longed to be appreciated and instead licked the warning that she was bent over. “I don’t think my generation praised my generation as much compared to today’s children. And when we received praise, it was followed by some remorse. Before the revolution,” he points out.

Today friends switch jobs like on a treadmill

The parental message mentioned is also a leitmotif that connects the first half of the book to the second. Rather, the author put it in the present, when a trio of main characters meet at a class reunion after 20 years. Former classmates find out who in the class has already moved to a satellite town somewhere outside Prague and leads an orderly middle-class life there, and who, on the other hand, still remains single and lives in sublet.

The restrained daisy character Aneta, with whom the author herself most identifies, belongs to the second group, and after 20 years she no longer argues with her parents over a school report, but rather with ideas different in the future. For example, when she tells them she’s going to quit her job because she doesn’t like it there, they punch them in the forehead. According to the author, the rapid and radical change that Czech society underwent with the Velvet Revolution could have created an even greater generation gap between today’s 30-somethings and their parents than existed before. between different age groups.

“My parents’ generation is used to the fact that when you arrive at work, you have to stay there for a long time to build a career. The idea of ​​leaving the job after two years without a promotion is incomprehensible to them. friends change “Of course, there are also cases when my peers do something just because their parents want it,” Fundová thinks.

“I was inspired by books like Children of Bullerbyn, where nothing dizzying happens, but there is a world of children beautifully represented,” Fundová says of her novelty. | Photo: Gabriela Novakova

On one side, our parents push us, on the other, Instagram

On the one hand, today’s 30-somethings often want to maintain their independence and refuse to be too attached, but at the same time they see their peers slowly building families and taking out mortgages, so they wonder if they shouldn’t just take root. On the contrary, those who have settled wonder how many times they have done well, especially when relationships crumble at the hands of some of the heroes of his book.

“I think we’re confused and don’t know what we really want. On the one hand, we get advice from our parents, on the other, we see our friends’ perfect lives on Instagram, so we have more and more doubts on We feel that everyone around him is very happy “And he is not the only one. When he meets other people outside the social network, his friends will tell him that they are not really that happy to have broken up with someone, that they have been fired and so on,” Fundová thinks.

Memories of carefree childhood times around the turn of the millennium may bring solace to some millennials and some characters in the novel Beautiful, but straighten up! they like to escape them even after 20 years. “Sometimes I succumb to nostalgia more than I would like. Sometimes I blame myself. Don’t get stuck in the past because if you keep thinking about what you could have done differently, you can get stuck and find it difficult to take a step in a new direction,” he adds Fundová.

It may interest you: I need to confess as a human being, I gather people on the balcony like Pokémon, says Třeštík

My book is a balance of life, I live fast, I forget a lot of things, I wrote something that I would like to read about the people around me, says the photographer. | Video: Daniela Pisařovicová, DVTV

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