Maria Nemcová Banerjee

Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature

Smith College

Contact & Office Hours

Tilly Hall 104



Ph.D., Harvard University

M.A., Université de Montréal

Baccalauréat, Collège Marie de France, Montreal


Maria Banerjee believes she was destined to become a comparatist from the moment she first discovered that literature had the power to create multiple worlds in the mind. She was then a refugee from Prague at a convent school in the South of France and had just made the transition from her native Czech into French. That experience helped her understand that each language has a distinctive way of shaping the reality it unveils.

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Banerjee’s work in Czech literature has run parallel with her Russian research. She has an abiding fascination for Dostoevsky, the preeminent philosophical novelist of the nineteenth century.

Selected Publications

Dostoevsky: The Scandal of Reason. Landisfarne Books, 2006.

Terminal Paradox: The Novels of Milan Kundera. Grove Weidenfeld, 1990.