It seems very strange to be talking about the Czech writer Hana Andronikova in the past tense. When she died of cancer on December 20th last year, she was only 44, and until the last months of her life had been at the height of her creative powers. Author of two successful novels, several plays and numerous short stories, she was one of the most versatile younger Czech writers, and will be hugely missed. David Vaughan looks at her life and work.
The Czech writer Hana Andronikova died of cancer on Tuesday, aged 44, the management of Prague’s Archa Theatre said. Ms Andronikova wrote her first novel, The Sound of the Sun Dial, in 2001, and won several awards for it, including the Magnesia Litera award for best debut. Her most acclaimed novel Heaven Has No Floor, which came out in 2011, describes her struggle with cancer. Hana Andronikova also authored several theatre plays.
Last month saw the Czech Republic’s glitziest annual literary event, the presentation of the Magnesia Litera awards. The awards covered nine different categories, including prose, poetry, children’s books and translations, as well as the coveted title of Book of the Year, and the ceremony was broadcast live on prime-time Czech TV. In Czech Books, David Vaughan looks at some of the winners and talks to the person who first thought up the awards.
Since the fall of communism, Prague has been a very international city, and this has had a deep impact on the city’s literary culture. Many Prague writers today have their roots outside the Czech Republic and are not necessarily writing in the Czech language. At the same time, Czech writers themselves have been strongly influenced by the growing cosmopolitanism of the city, which contrasts starkly with the stifling political atmosphere of the 70s and 80s. In a few weeks’ time Prague’s international literary scene will be celebrated with the publication
Hana Andronikova is one of the best known younger Czech writers and has won considerable acclaim for her epic novel with the poetic title, "The Sound of the Sundial". It tells the story of a Czech family through the traumatic years of the mid-20th century. But here Hana recalls a very ordinary, everyday experience from her own life. It was nothing more than a short walk, but during that walk something occurred that carried a far deeper significance. Hana Andronikova found the child within her.
Welcome to Czech books and today we're going to be meeting Hana Andronikova, a young Czech writer whose name has recently been buzzing around Czech literary circles. Two years ago her debut novel, "Zvuk slunecnich hodin" (The Sound of the Sundial) was published to huge critical acclaim. It tells the story of the Keppler family from Zlin - Hana's own hometown that was built from nothing in the 1920s around the famous Bata shoe factory. The story is panoramic, moving in time and place from Zlin to India, Colorado and Auschwitz - a twentieth century