For over thirty years, the US and UK based publishing house Readers International has been helping to draw attention to the work of writers from countries where they face political pressures, censorship and exile. Over the decades, it has published writing from across the world. One of its founders was Dorothy Connell, who was in Prague recently for the Bookworld book fair. The days of the Cold War, when writers in this part of the world were having to smuggle manuscripts abroad to have any chance of being published, may be long past, but as Dorothy
The renowned Czech writer Ivan Klíma, author of novels such as Love and Garbage and the autobiography My Crazy Century, turned 85 on Wednesday. Klíma became a dissident in communist Czechoslovakia after the Soviet invasion and was one of a number of Czech writers who were forced to publish in samizdat at home while simultaneously enjoying international success. I discussed aspects of Ivan Klíma’s work and life with Gerald Turner, who has translated a number of the author’s works, including Judge on Trial.
Wednesday is the 85th birthday of the great Czech novelist and playwright Ivan Klíma. The Prague-born author, whose best-known novels include Love and Garbage and Judge on Trial, spent part of his childhood in the Terezín concentration camp. Following the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia he became a banned writer, publishing in samizdat. His most recent work was the acclaimed autobiography My Crazy Century, which came out in English in 2013.
Prague City Hall will award six honorary citizenships this year, the city council decided on Thursday. The recipients include sculptor Olbram Zoubek, writer Ivan Klíma, Jiří Suchý, radio and television announcer and Charter 77 signatory Kamila Moučková, founder of the Prague International Marathon Carlo Capalbo and Emil Zátopek’s wife and Olympic medal winner Dana. The official ceremony will take place at the Old Town Hall on June 27. Honorary citizenship of Prague has been awarded since 1920. Two people, the communist-era presidents Klement Gottwald and Gustav Husák, have been removed from the list in the past.
Writer Ivan Klíma has been presented the Karel Čapek Award by the Czech
Pen Club. Mr. Klíma, 78, is one of the country’s most famous
contemporary writers, whose work has been translated into several
languages. He has written over 30 books and dozens of short stories and
essays. Among his better known works are Lovers for a Day, A Ship Named
Hope, Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light, My First Loves and My
The Karel Čapek Award was established by the Pen Club’s Czech branch in 1994 and is presented to outstanding writers bi-annually. Other holders of the award are the former president and writer Václav Havel, Arnost Lustig, Jiří Kratochvíl and Josef Topol.
When Ivan Klíma was a little boy, he knew he wanted to be a writer. Today, he is one of the most respected figures of Czech literature. Ivan Klíma’s life journey included years in a Nazi concentration camp, membership in the communist party, and later a life on the fringe of the society, after he was expelled from the party and joined Czechoslovakia’s opposition movement. In his latest book, My Crazy Century, Ivan Klíma explains what happened that he found himself in the ranks of the communist party, a totalitarian and criminal organization that
The row continues over plans to build a new home for Prague's National Library. The priceless collection of books and manuscripts is set to move from the baroque Klementinum building by Charles Bridge to a new location on Prague's Letna plain. But the winning design - by Czech-born architect Jan Kaplicky - is attracting no small measure of controversy.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival may attract the most glamour and media attention but it is far from being the only film festival here in the Czech Republic. Indeed, while this year's Karlovy Vary will be the 41st, the Zlin International Film Festival for Children and Youth - which got underway on Sunday - is being held for the 46th time. Coilin O'Connor is in the south Moravian town for the festival. He told me all about it.
On Thursday, the US President, George Bush, visited Bratislava to hold one of the most anticipated meetings during his five-day trip to Europe. Mr Bush met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and with the backing of his advisors and senior politicians back home and in Europe called on the Russian president to reassert his commitment to democracy in Russia. Mr Bush also met with Slovak politicians, addressed a crowd of several thousand that had gathered on Hviezdoslav Square in Bratislava, and met various other people, including former Czechoslovak
"You can imagine how happy and proud I am now because it will be the first time that Slovakia hosts the US President and this is more than a clear signal that Slovakia is an ally of the United States. I am sure that this is a very strong message not only for the Slovak people but also for all new democracies in the region." The Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, proudly representing the country chosen by US President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin to host their landmark meeting.