This week Czech Books comes from the main exhibition ground in Prague, where the Bookworld - or Svet knihy - festival has been taking place. It was founded in 1997 by Czech publishers and booksellers, mainly to promote literature in the Czech Republic, but in the past years it has grown very much from a simple book fair into quite a major literary festival with writers from many parts of the world coming here. The theme of this year's Bookworld is "Literatures of the North" and the special guest of honour is the Latvian Literature Centre.
Every year, the Czech Foreign Ministry bestows the Gratias Agit award on select people who promote the good name of the Czech Republic abroad. The list of distinguished 2006 recipients includes the Czech-born former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, the world-class cross-country skier who won gold for the Czech Republic at the Turin Olympics, Katerina Neumannova, and the writer and humanitarian activist, Petra Prochazkova.
In this week's Arts we look at two new separate exhibitions opening in and around Prague. The first, at the Hollar gallery on the banks of the Vltava in the Czech capital, opened Wednesday: it brings together work by many of the country's best known graphic designers - who first made their mark some forty years ago. The second exhibition, held just outside of Prague at the Museum of Central Bohemia in Roztoky, also looks at the 60s. It takes something of a playful approach, combining not only a look at Czech glassware and jewellery, but lifestyle
On Tuesday, a crowd of cultural enthusiasts gathered at Prague's Marriott Hotel to get a glimpse into what we can expect from this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. For a start, over 200 films are expected to be screened at the 41st annual festival which will run in the West Bohemian town from June 30th until July 8th.
Visitors to the chapel of St. John of Nepomuk on Jungmann Square in Prague will find an exhibit featuring "The Faces of Havana." Photographer Helena Wilsonova's images were captured in Cuba during a 10-day visit in March 1995, and they will be on display in Prague until May 5th. I recently met with Helena Wilsonova in the chapel gallery to talk about her career as a photographer, and she began by explaining what brought her to Cuba in March 1995.