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Current AffairsGuide to wartime Prague wins top literary award

09-04-2014 16:00 | Jan Richter

Photo: Academia A guide to the nation’s capital under Nazi occupation has won the top Czech literary award. Guide to Protectorate Prague, which provides details of hundreds of locations and events that occurred in the capital during the war, picked up the main prize at Tuesday’s Magnesia Litera awards, along with the prize for best non-fiction book of 2013.  More

Current AffairsPrague rabbi pens literary hit of season

08-04-2014 15:11 | Jan Velinger

Karol Sidon, photo: Marián Vojtek Just a few weeks ago the author of one of this season’s biggest literary sensations - Altschulova Metoda – was a mystery, a certain Chaim Cigan, an alleged émigré to Canada who spent much of his career translating technical writing. It turns out it was only a pen name, one that didn’t last.  More

ArtsStephen Morris: Author of Prague-based urban fantasy “Come Hell or High Water”

04-04-2014 15:03 | Jan Velinger

Stephen Morris, photo: archive of Stephen Morris Fans of urban fantasy may be interested to learn more about “Come Hell or High Water” a trilogy written by New York-based author Stephen Morris – a former Eastern Orthodox chaplain at Columbia University. His series, set in Prague, not only blends past legend with the present, but meticulously works with occult European magical practices and beliefs.  More

Current AffairsAssociation launches drive for VAT-free books

02-04-2014 15:32 | Jan Velinger

Photo: archive of Radio Prague The Association of Czech booksellers and publishers has launched a new campaign called ‘Books without VAT’ in order to drum up support for the existing 15 percent rate to be slashed. The centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka is due to discuss the matter, possibly lowering the VAT on books and some other items to as little as five percent.  More

Current AffairsAcclaimed author and essayist Milan Kundera turns 85

01-04-2014 15:45 | Jan Velinger

Milan Kundera, photo: Jan Šmíd This Tuesday sees Czech-born author Milan Kundera, who has lived and worked in France since the mid-1970s, turn 85. Although the Czech media has reported extensively on the occasion, it is no secret the author of acclaimed novels like The Joke and Immortality, has a complicated relationship with his homeland, not allowing novels after The Unbearable Lightness of Being to be published in Czech.  More

ArtsFilmmaker Jan Kaplan: Hrabal was one of most modest people I ever met

28-03-2014 16:28 | Jan Velinger

Jan Kaplan, photo: archive of Radio Prague Events around the Czech Republic are commemorating internationally renowned author Bohumil Hrabal who would have turned 100 this day. On the occasion I spoke to the Czech-born documentary filmmaker and photographer Jan Kaplan, now based in London, who was just a student when he first met the writer. He then became closer friends with Hrabal in the 1990s, giving him a tour of London. He has now opened a new exhibition of previously unpublished portraits of Hrabal at Prague’s Lucerna Palace.  More

Current AffairsAcclaimed 20th century author Bohumil Hrabal remembered on 100th anniversary of his birth

28-03-2014 15:20 | Jan Velinger

Bohumil Hrabal, photo: Czech Television This Friday marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the most significant Czech authors, Bohumil Hrabal, who died in 1997. Events commemorating the author of Closely Watched Trains and I Served the King of England, are being held at venues around the country. I took the opportunity to discuss Hrabal’s life and work with Jakub Chrobák, a professor and specialist on Czech literature at the Silesian University in Opava.  More

In FocusFirst book in Hebrew printed in Prague half a millennium ago

11-02-2014 15:06 | Masha Volynsky

Photo: The Jewish Museum of Prague Today, in Prague’s bookstores one can find titles in a number of world languages – English, German, Russian, French, and of course Czech. It is much harder these days, although not impossible, to find books published in Hebrew. But five hundred years ago, a little less than a century after the Gutenberg press was invented, the first Hebrew book in Central Europe, and possibly north of the Alps, was printed right here in Prague.  More

Czech BooksTomáš Zmeškal: putting things in their proper place

01-02-2014 02:01 | David Vaughan

Tomáš Zmeškal, photo: David Vaughan “Socrates on the Equator”, the latest book by the award-winning Czech novelist, Tomáš Zmeškal, offers insights into a huge country in the heart of Africa that for most Czech readers is nothing more than a name: The Democratic Republic of Congo. His book is neither a novel nor a travelogue, but a many-layered account of a very personal journey. David Vaughan talks to the writer.  More

Czech BooksSusan Reynolds and the music of Karel Jaromír Erben’s poetry

18-01-2014 02:01 | David Vaughan

Susan Reynolds, photo: David Vaughan Until last year Karel Jaromír Erben’s celebrated collection of ballads, Kytice – The Bouquet – had never been published in a full English translation. Now we are lucky enough to have no less than two fresh translations of this classic of 19th century Czech poetry. Last summer we spoke to the translator of one of the new editions, Marcela Sulak, and this time it is the turn of Susan Reynolds, whose translation appeared in a bilingual edition just before Christmas. She talks to David Vaughan.  More

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