Author James Stafford is a big fan of Czech culture and history and recently settled in the Czech Republic with his family. For the past seven years or so, James worked on ‘The Sorrowful Putto of Prague’ an online comic about a somewhat cynical 400-year-old putto who has seen it all in the Czech capital. The graphic novel now been published in Czech by Argo Publishers – a beautiful edition which Czech readers can look forward to snapping up. A treat, is how it was described by Samuel L. Jackson.
The Czech illustrator Miroslav Šašek produced delightful and evocative books that introduced generations of children to some of the world’s great cities and countries. The fact he spent most of his life in exile has meant that his renown is perhaps greater internationally than in his native country. But in recent years that has finally been changing.
This year’s Book World Prague has just got underway at the city’s Výstaviště. However, the 23rd edition of the trade fair and literary festival will also see it go outside the industrial palace to novel venues, while it will also have a major international aspect. I discussed Book World Prague 2017 with the event’s recently appointed new director, Radovan Auer.
The 23rd international book fair and literary festival Book World Prague gets underway on Thursday. The event, the biggest of its kind in the Czech Republic, brings together writers and publishers from all around the world, including Irish writer John Boyne and Israeli author Uri Orlev. The main topic of this year’s festival is Genius Loci in Literature: Place in the Starring Role. The event will traditionally take place in Prague’s Palace of Industry, but some parts of the programme will also be held in the new airship for literature above the DOX Gallery. The Book World Prague 2017 runs until Sunday.
Bianca Bellová is a Prague-based translator, interpreter and author. Following her 2009 debut, "Sentimentální román" (Sentimental Novel), she has published three other books. It was the latest one "Jezero" (The Lake) published in 2016 by Host that fired the imagination of critics and readers alike and in April 2017 the post-apocalyptic novel was awarded with the Magnesia Litera award for Czech book of the year as well as the European Union Prize for Literature, and has since been nominated for a couple of other prizes. For this edition of Czech
Academia Film Olomouc is one of the longest running film festivals in the Czech Republic. What is unique is that this festival, now in its 52nd year, focusses largely on science documentary films. The Future is Now is this year’s motto and it won’t be a surprise that films being screened examine both the promises but also potential risks in fields moving rapidly forward, such as robotics, bioengineering, nanotechnology and of course the big one - artificial intelligence.
I Want You to Be, a book by Czech priest and theologian Tomáš Halík, has received a nomination at the upcoming Foreward INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the philosophy category. The awards aim to recognise independent notable works and winning entries are chosen by readers, librarians and book sellers. I Want You to Be was published in English by the University of Notre Dame Press and is described as as meditation on love towards god, one’s self, friends and enemies.
The Czech writer with Bulgarian roots, Bianca Bellová, 47, has received this year's European Union Prize for Literature for her novel Jezero (The Lake), the European Commission (EC) announced. The prize, which carries with it an award of 5000 euros, has been annually bestowed on talented European writers from the EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the EU candidate countries since 2009. It should help them have their books published abroad and address a wider pubic. Bellova's novel The Lake won also the Czech Magnesia Litera main award for the book of the year recently. Her novel is a post-apocalyptic parable of environmental destruction followed by the destruction of human relations and individual souls.
The Magnesia Litera award for Czech book of the year has gone to Jezero (The Lake) by Bianca Bellová. The post-apocalyptic novel alludes to the collapse of the Soviet empire as well as pointing to today’s geopolitical situation. The prestigious Magnesia Litera for best work of prose went to Marek Šindelka’s Únava materialu (Material Fatigue), which was inspired by the recent migrant crisis. Prizes in six other categories were also handed out at Tuesday’s awards ceremony in Prague.
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