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Current AffairsMain task was not messing up “big story” of poet Blatný, says Magnesia litera winner Martin Reiner

15-04-2015 15:22 | Ian Willoughby

Martin Reiner, photo: CTK The top Book of the Year prize at the prestigious Magnesia litera awards has just gone to Básník, or Poet, which is subtitled A Novel about Ivan Blatný. The book – which had already picked up other major Czech literary honours – is the magnum opus of Brno-based author Martin Reiner. The day after the prize ceremony in Prague, I asked the writer what had drawn him to Blatný, who spent much of his life in psychiatric care in the UK.  More

ArtsOf books and bookworms: How a Czech company is making authentic copies of rare historic manuscripts

10-04-2015 15:53 | Jan Velinger

Vyšehrad Codex Tempus Libri is a Czech company specialising in the production of authentic copies or ‘clones’ of rare historic manuscripts, often of immense cultural value. To date, the most significant tome the firm copied is the Vyšehrad Codex, dating back to the Romanesque period. The manuscript, made up of one hundred and eight parchment folios – 26 of which are illuminated – focusses on numerous topics, including the genealogy of Christ. The Codex also depicts the first Czech King Vratislav II and features a reference to St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia.  More

ArtsRudolf Král – Author of enchanting new children’s book Ema a pusinkový lupič

03-04-2015 14:41 | Jan Velinger

Photo: Mladá fronta Eight-year-old Ema notices that something is very wrong one day after her father forgets to give her a kiss before going to work. In fact, kisses are disappearing all over and previously happy families begin to fight as a result. That is the opening premise of a new children’s book called Ema a pusinkový lupič, published by Mladá fronta.  More

MarketplaceAmerican turns passion for children’s books into business

01-04-2015 16:19 | 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 BooksLucie Lomová: no bounds to reality

28-03-2015 02:01 | David Vaughan

Lucie Lomová, photo: Robert Sedmík Comic books and graphic novels are rapidly becoming a popular and recognized form of Czech literature and they build on a tradition that in this country goes back well over a century. Lucie Lomová is one of the foremost representatives of the art form here and her books both for children and adults are hugely popular. A testimony to her talent is the fact that her books have even made an impact in France, the spiritual home of the comic strip. She talks to David Vaughan.  More

Czech BooksJiří Pehe and a novel that pits angels against the isms of our age

14-03-2015 02:01 | David Vaughan

Jiří Pehe, photo: David Vaughan Ivan Klíma has described the 2009 novel Three Faces of an Angel by Jiří Pehe as one of the most outstanding Czech novels since the fall of communism. The book is not only an epic and dramatic journey through the life of one family in the twentieth century, but also a reflection on many of the issues of our time. If you are more familiar with Jiří Pehe as a political scientist, you may also be surprised to find that it even reflects in some detail on the nature of angels. David Vaughan talks to the writer.  More

In FocusStudy traces Czech comics’ evolution from lowbrow to respected medium

10-03-2015 16:00 | Ruth Fraňková

Photo: Akropolis For years, comics was considered a lowbrow genre and was neglected or even banned during the Communist years. Recently, however, the situation has changed with new, talented authors emerging, and it seems that comics has finally become a respected part of Czech culture.  More

Czech LifeCzechs cling to literary traditions in spite of new technologies

07-03-2015 02:01 | Ruth Fraňková

Photo: Barbora Kmentová March is national reading month in the Czech Republic, with special events taking place all around the country. There has always been a strong reading culture in the country, but with all the new technologies available do Czechs still have time to read? What kind of books do they prefer and how much time do they devote to reading?  More

Czech BooksMartin Reiner and a poet in the maelstrom of the 20th century

28-02-2015 02:01 | David Vaughan

Photo: Torst It is not often that one book receives two major Czech literary awards within a few weeks, but that is just what happened at the end of last year in the case of Martin Reiner’s documentary novel Básník – in English “Poet”. In November the book won the Josef Škvorecký Prize and then a month later it went on to be voted Lidové noviny’s Book of the Year. The novel is the culmination of nearly thirty years’ research into the life of one of great Czech poets of the 20th century, Ivan Blatný. David Vaughan talks to Martin Reiner about the book.  More

Current Affairs“Once upon a time there lived a thief …” bedtime stories as told by a judge

19-02-2015 16:17 | Loreta Vašková, Daniela Lazarová

Illustrations by Šárka Nogová “Once upon a time there lived a thief …” the times are changing and so are fairytales. A collection of stories written by a judge from police files reflects the reality of the present day far better than the traditional classics and the aim of the collection is to teach children right from wrong in an entertaining manner.  More

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