The writer Jiří Stránský died on Wednesday at the age of 87. Mr.
Stránský spent almost a decade in Communist labour camps as a political
prisoner after being found guilty of “treason” in the hard-line 1950s.
He put those experiences into his writings, some of which he also adapted
for the screen.
In the 1990s Jiří Stránský became president of the Czech PEN Club. He was also a life-long devotee of the scouting movement and shared his experiences in talks with young people.
With three books published just last year, Marek Toman is currently one of the most prolific Czech authors. He last spoke to Radio Prague almost three years ago after he published a novel narrated by a building – Černín Palace, seat of the Czech Foreign Ministry. Since then, he has written two other novels closely connected to historical Prague. When we met up I asked him what it was about Prague and its particular districts that inspired him to write whole books about them.
Jaroslav Erik Frič, a Czech poet, musician, publisher and organiser of
underground culture festivals during communism, died on Friday at the age
A polyglot, he travelled extensively throughout Western Europe in 1968, before the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, working as a busker.
Unwilling to collaborate with the regime in any way, he worked published samizdat poems and other texts while working as a waiter.
Soon after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, he founded the Votobia publishing house. In later years, he founded NGOs to help racial, ethnic and religious minorities.
Since 2000, he had also organised an annual poetry festival in Brno.
Čtyřlístek or the Four-leaf Clover, a legendary Czech children’s comic magazine, marks its 50th anniversary this week. The comic series was named after its four human-like animal characters – Myšpulín the cat, Bobík the pig, Pinďa the rabbit and a dog called Fifinka. The first issue of the magazine was published on May 15, 1969. Since then, Čtyřlístek has enjoyed a cult following among generations of Czech children.
Book World Prague, the 25th installment of the International Book Fair and
Literary Festival, kicks off on Thursday at the Holešovice fairgrounds.
A total of 29 countries will be represented at the four-day fair and festival, which last year drew 46,000 visitors.
The focus this year is on Memory and Reminiscence while the guest of honour is a continent – Latin America. Nobel Prize-winning novelist Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru is among the high-profile guests set to attend.
The opening day programme includes presentation of the Anticena Skřipec, a booby prize presented by the Czech Literary Translators’ Guild for the worst translation of a work of fiction published in the previous year.
Among the major Latin American writers presenting their work are Bernardo Carvalho, Rodrigo Fresán, Álvaro Enrigue, David Unger, and Mariana Enríquez. The German Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller is also set to attend.
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’.
The classic Czech sci-fi film Ikarie XB1 looks set to find fresh audiences with a new Blu-ray release next week. A number of major figures in the history of Czech cinema were involved in the making of the black and white movie, which prefigured Western releases such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Trek.
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