Here we were, the three Czechs: Mr Kohn, the Jew who fled the Nazis in ’39. Mr Pohorsky, the recent exile, now tending the lawns of the Connington Golf Club. And me: not an immigrant, nor an émigré, but a visiting ‘scholar’, courtesy of the Ford Foundation.

‘You see,’ Mr Kohn was explaining to us, surveying the Connington snack bar with sad, unseeing eyes, ‘I’m now an American. I pay taxes. I make a lot of money. But America is not my home. I’ve lived in the States for thirty years, but I still long for Prague. I still miss the shop that belonged to my father – a bell over the door rang whenever anyone entered it. That was home. But this,’ and in waving his plump hand he took in not only Connington but all of New England, ‘this, gentlemen, is Babylon.’

‘But surely,’ Mr Pohorsky asked, ‘surely, Mr Kohn, you aren’t sorry you left?’

Paris or Prague?
The Field Behind the Village