The winner of the prestigious 2018 Magnesia Litera Award for Prose went to journalist, translator and writer Pavla Horáková for her novel A Theory of Strangeness. Pavla, who is a former Radio Prague reporter, now has several books under her belt, including a popular trilogy for children and a book on soldiers serving in WWI. However, her first big novel, A Theory of Strangeness, which was an overnight success, is the most difficult to define. So when I met up with Pavla to talk about her new book my first question was how she herself would define
By far the country’s swankiest annual literary event, the Magnesia Litera awards, covering nine categories, including prose, poetry, blogs and translations, were broadcast live on Czech TV on Sunday evening. Book of the Year award went to veteran author Radka Denemarková for her novel ‘Hours of Lead’ while the award for best work of prose went to rising literary star Pavla Horáková – a former colleague of ours at Radio Prague – for her novel ‘A Theory of Strangeness’.
Respekt has just published a story which provides more detail on a recent successful intelligence operation carried out by country’s BIS counterintelligence service, an agency that has been criticised for incompetence by President Miloš Zeman. The weekly says that BIS shut down a group of Russian hackers, who were part of a wider international network, in early 2018.
Investigative reporters Ondřej Kundra and Jaroslav Kmenta have each been
awarded the prestigious Ferdinand Peroutka Prize for their work in
uncovering corruption among politicians and businesses.
The Ferdinand Peroutka Prize, launched in 1995, is named after one of the most prominent Czech journalists of the 20th century. It honours those who show great integrity in work.
Both the recipients work for weekly magazines: Kundra, for Respekt, and Kmenta for Reportér.
The president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, tried to influence the decisions of judges in key courts, according to weekly Respekt, which cited a number of magistrates. Mr. Mynář has released a statement denying the allegation, insisting he merely informed judges of President Miloš Zeman’s opinion. However, legal experts have condemned his efforts as highly inappropriate.
Czech conceptual artist Kateřina Šedá has said she is happy with the
outcome of her UNES-CO project in the town of Český Krumlov, despite
getting many negative reactions from the public.
Speaking at a press conference at the close of the social experiment which aimed to bring back normal life to the town which is suffering from overtourism, Šedá said the project had highlighted important questions regarding the measure of tourism a normal living town can take and what can be done to maintain a sense of normality. She said it was always important to hold a dialogue on such issues, even when people are angry and negative.
Český Krumlov with its 12,000 inhabitants is annually visited by over two million tourists, which has resulted in the city centre becoming something of a ghost town. In the course of the summer Kateřina Šedá paid families with children to live in the city-centre and lead normal everyday lives.
Many people criticized and ridiculed the experiment saying the money could have been put to better use. The project cost four million crowns, with the state contributing two million. Šedá said she actually ran into debt because of it.
The Czech contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale, which kicks off next weekend, is an offbeat social experiment from the leading Czech conceptual artist Kateřina Šedá. She is attempting to reintroduce normal life to popular destination Český Krumlov so as to generate debate on a major issue in today’s Europe: overtourism.
If you enjoy noir crime stories with their troubled, ambivalent heroes and creepy, underworld settings, you are in for a treat. Akashic Books in New York have just added Prague to their award-winning series of original noir anthologies. The collection includes some of the biggest names in Czech contemporary fiction and is full of surprises, offering us a Prague that lurches deliciously from the magical to the seedy, from a misty past to a hi-tech future. The book had its Prague launch a few days ago in the Globe English-language bookstore, and David