Next week, from the 25th to the 29th of May, the sixth annual "Nonstop Reading" literary marathon will take place all over the world. Organised by the group Jazz Section-Artforum and the Czech Centres, this year's event is dedicated to former Czech president Vaclav Havel. The readings will begin in Prague, and will continue in Czech Centres all over the world and at the United Nations building in New York. My colleague Dean Vuletic spoke to former dissident Karel Srp, the head of Jazz Section-Artforum, and asked him how "Nonstop Reading"
Two books published recently in this country - one a couple of years ago and the other at the end of last year - raised very strong reactions among the lay and expert public. In 2000, a Prague-based publishing house put out a new Czech-language edition of Adolf Hitler's notorious book "Mein Kampf". This created uproar in the media, and publisher Michal Zitko received a three-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of two million crowns for spreading fascist ideas. Last year, the Supreme Court annulled the verdict but Mr Zitko is to stand trial
Welcome to "Czech Books", our new fortnightly series devoted to Czech writing and writers. In a series of interviews over the next few weeks the writer and musician Pavla Jonssonova, well known from the popular band Zuby Nehty, will be talking to a number of Czechs writing today. She starts with one of the most interesting contemporary Czech novelists, Iva Pekarkova, whose books are filled with energy, eroticism and heroines who are not afraid to take their fate into their own hands. Her first novel appeared in English as "Truck Stop Rainbows"
Bradley Abrams is an associate professor of history at Columbia University in New York City, where he specialises in the history of the Czech lands. He received his bachelors degree from the University of Texas and his masters and doctoral degrees from Stanford University. It was at Stanford University that he studied the history of East Europe, and here he describes how a book by Milan Kundera in a Texas bookstore sparked his initial interest in Czech history.
For the last few weeks it might have seemed that the Czech world of arts revolved almost exclusively around books. Well this time again, this programme focuses on two events related to books and literature - as they simply dominate the arts scene in the coming days. On Thursday, the ninth Prague book fair, Bookworld 2003 got underway at the Prague Exhibition Grounds. While it was "water, water everywhere" during last August's floods, now the Art Nouveau exhibition palace is for four days flooded with books.
Twenty-five years ago, on Sunday April 20, Czech journalist and creative writer Ferdinand Peroutka, affectionately called "Mr. Czechoslovakia" in America, died in exile in New York. A fierce fighter for democratic values in Czechoslovak society, Peroutka didn't let the Nazis or Communists tell him what to think or what to write, and he did pay dearly for not succumbing to political pressures. I spoke with journalist and political commentator Vaclav Zak, who believes that journalists today have something to learn from Peroutka.
'How I Came to Know Fish' - for years I glimpsed this elegant volume of short stories in Prague's English-language bookstores, at times wondering over its greenish cover featuring a fish on a hook. I wondered blankly over the name of its author, without, I admit, inquiring further. Ota Pavel. The name, though known to most Czechs, said nothing to me then, at most I had an inkling the author had been a sports journalist for Czech Radio in the 1950s. Then I caught a glimpse of his photo somewhere - Ota Pavel, writer - the author in his youth, a black
Did you know that eight of the ten presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic spent time in prison? Or that Czechoslovakia's first president, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, rode horses until the age of eighty three, and one of his favourites was a bay horse called Hektor? A recently released book titled "Ten Presidents" gives us these and other unusual insights into the lives of the presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
Restaurant tells visitors to “clear their plates” or pay a 50 crown fine for wasting food
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’