Ever since her award-winning debut novel All This Belongs to Me came out in 2002, Petra Hůlová has been a major voice in Czech fiction. The book went on to be translated into many languages, including English, and became a huge success for the then twenty-three-year-old writer. Now, thanks to translator Alex Zucker and Jantar Publishing, English readers can enjoy another of Petra’s novels. Three Plastic Rooms is written as the monologue of a prostitute as she approaches middle age. It is totally absorbing – acrobatic in its language and humorous
Publishers that focus on contemporary writing from Central Europe are few and far between, but they play an important role in bringing Czech poetry and prose to an international audience. One of the newest players is Jantar Publishing, based in London. In just a few years it has established a strong reputation with its beautifully produced translations, several of which we have already talked about here on Radio Prague. As David Vaughan finds out in this week’s Czech Books, Jantar is going from strength to strength with ambitious plans for the
With the economic crisis and countries becoming increasingly introverted, you might expect this to be the worst of all possible times for getting Czech books published abroad. But that is far from being the case. In this week’s Czech Books, David Vaughan talks to Edgar de Bruin, who runs a literary agency from Amsterdam and promotes Czech writing all over the world.
We have featured plenty of contemporary Czech novelists in this programme over the last decade, but we should spare a thought for their translators, patiently working at home alone, struggling at a craft every bit as challenging as alchemy. In Czech Books this week, David Vaughan talks to a translator who has done more than any other to bring the middle and younger generation of Czech novelists to English-speaking readers.
A few days ago Radio Prague and the Czech Literature Portal, this country’s foremost website promoting Czech literature abroad, got together to hold the first of a series of public literary discussions. David Vaughan’s guests were two of the Czech Republic’s best known literary figures, the novelist Petra Hůlová and the critic and translator Martin Machovec. They were joined by an international audience at one of Prague’s most atmospheric literary dens, the Shakespeare and Sons bookshop, tucked away in one of the ancient houses in Prague’s Lesser
This edition of Czech Books comes from a café just off the Old Town Square, where I have come to talk to a novelist who has become a phenomenon of the Czech literary scene in the last few years. Petra Hulova shot to fame in the Czech Republic in 2002 when her first novel, Pamet moji babicce (In Memory of My Grandmother) was published. It surprised many by instantly becoming a bestseller, and it has been one of the most successful and most widely read books in this country over the last ten to fifteen years.
In this week's One on One - Jan Velinger's guest is the young Czech writer and student of Mongolian studies Petra Hulova, whose book Pamet moji Babicce, or Memory for My Grandmother, has taken the Czech literary scene by storm. Jan talks to Ms Hulova about the stay in Mongolia that inspired her novel, voted by Lidove Noviny as the best in 2002.