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ArtsHow the Velvet Revolution overturned the literary landscape

19-09-2014 16:28 | Chris Johnstone

Photo: archive of Radio Prague Writers were at the forefront of the Velvet Revolution. But when the dust settled on the political changes they found a fast changing publishing revolution underway that left some of them sidelined. We look at the changes in the publishing and literary world over the last two decades.  More

Czech BooksMarek Toman: The Special Meaning of Pancakes

13-09-2014 02:01 | David Vaughan

Marek Toman, photo: David Vaughan The work of the novelist Marek Toman is diverse. It takes us from Jewish Prague in the 16th century all the way to the drama of the Velvet Revolution four hundred years later. He has even written one novel in which radio becomes a central character. His latest book, due to be published next year, again takes us back in time. It focuses on a notorious 17th century court case, but is far from being a mere costume drama. In the author’s work the past is always nearer to the present than you might expect. David Vaughan met the novelist.  More

Czech History“Adventurers Against Their Will” highlights fate of people displaced during WWII

13-09-2014 02:01 | Jan Richter

Photo: archive of Joanie Schirm During the Second World War, millions of people lost their homes, family and friends, and were forced to start new lives elsewhere. The book Adventurers Against Their Will traces several such stories, based on wartime correspondence between a Czech Jewish physician who found refuge in China, and his friends and relatives scattered around the world. The award-winning book by Joanie Schirm has just come out in Czech.  More

Current AffairsCzech court clears publishers of Hitler speeches

11-09-2014 16:02 | Jan Richter

Photo: Guidemedia The publishers of Adolf Hitler’s speeches have been cleared of charges of propagating Nazism. A court in Brno said the collection of the Nazi dictator’s speeches was obviously a historical text, and found no evidence it promoted the Nazi ideology.  More

MarketplaceAmerican turns passion for children’s books into business

10-09-2014 14:56 | Ruth Fraňková

Jeffrey Zamoff, photo: BrownBoxBooks Facebook page American Jeffrey Zamoff has been living in Prague for six years, earning his living as an English teacher and collecting and selling old vinyl records for pleasure. Two years ago, he decided to enlarge his offer with used English books for kids and discovered a hole in the market. His hobby soon turned into a small business, and besides running an internet shop, he has just opened a brick and mortar shop in the city. When I met Jeffrey Zamoff, I asked him how he came up with the idea in the first place:  More

Czech BooksRomany writers at home on Facebook

30-08-2014 02:01 | David Vaughan

In a recent edition of Czech Books, we spoke to the Romany writer, Irena Eliášová. She mentioned that her novel, November, had been published earlier this year by an internet publisher. This inspired David Vaughan to find out more about Romany writing in the digital age, and he discovered that Czech Roma have embraced the social media in a big way.  More

Czech Books“Running”: a great Czech athlete inspires a French novelist

16-08-2014 | David Vaughan

Photo: New Press Anyone interested in the history of athletics will have heard of Emil Zátopek, the greatest Czech long-distance runner of all time. His life story is the subject of a short novel by the Prix Goncourt winning French writer, Jean Echenoz, called simply “Running” – “Courir” in the original French. The book is an account of the life of an athlete whose quiet, determined attitude towards his sport contrasted with the complex political dramas going on around him in mid-20th century Europe. David Vaughan looks at the book and at the life of Emil Zátopek.  More

Czech LifeCzech games publisher & distributor introduces new line of storybook games

09-08-2014 02:01 | Jan Velinger

Photo: Albi In this week’s Czech Life we talk to Libor Pešl of Czech games publisher and distributor Albi about the usefulness of games in education and we test one of the titles in a new line of storybook games for children ages seven and up: The Three Little Pigs.  More

Letter from PragueGuidebook to the past

02-08-2014 | Ian Willoughby

Recently, at an old house down the country, I happened upon an interesting guidebook, or “bedeker”, as Czechs call such publications, in reference to the famous Baedeker guides that originated in the 19th century.  More

Czech BooksKarel Jaromír Erben: a not quite so grim fairytale

19-07-2014 02:01 | David Vaughan

Karel Jaromír Erben If you are drawn to the rich Czech tradition of legend and fairytale, Marcela Sulak’s new translation of one of the classics of 19th century Czech poetry is a must. Karel Jaromír Erben’s collection of ballads, “A Bouquet” was first published in 1853, and since then has been read by generations of Czech children and parents alike. David Vaughan talks to Marcela Sulak about a translation that brings out the freshness, sensitivity and humanity of Erben’s poetic world of spinning wheels, water-sprites and witches.  More

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