David Short first came to Prague as a student over fifty years ago. He remained for the best part of six years, experiencing at first hand the Prague Spring and then the Soviet-led invasion. He went on to become a mainstay of Czech and Slovak studies in Britain, over nearly four decades giving students at the University of London insights into the quirks of the Czech and Slovak languages. Since his retirement and with a bit more time on his hands David has focused on his work as a literary translator. It was in acknowledgement of his huge contribution
In the last edition of Czech Books we featured an interview with Zuzana Justman, who with her older brother and mother survived the wartime Terezín ghetto. Her brother Jiří Robert Pick later wrote a remarkable novel set in the ghetto, under the title “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals”. The book draws richly from his own memories; with an unexpected lightness and humour it tells the story of a teenage boy and the people around him – his friends and the older men sharing a ward with him in the ghetto infirmary. Thanks to Zuzana Justman
“Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” is a remarkable book by many standards. It is a comic novel set in the wartime Jewish ghetto in Terezín, written by the Czech satirist Jiří Robert Pick some twenty years after he survived the ghetto. The book is a classic, sparkling with life and humour, in defiance of the dehumanizing environment in which it was written. Thanks to J. R. Pick’s sister, the award-winning documentary film-maker Zuzana Justman, the book has just been published in English translation. In a two-part special, Zuzana talks
Towering Jewish-American author Philip Roth has died at the age of 85. And while most of the tributes will rightly focus on his many prize winning works over 60 years, there was another aspect to his life as well: the timely help he gave to dissident Czechoslovak writers after 1968 and the crushing of the so-called Prague Spring.
If you enjoy noir crime stories with their troubled, ambivalent heroes and creepy, underworld settings, you are in for a treat. Akashic Books in New York have just added Prague to their award-winning series of original noir anthologies. The collection includes some of the biggest names in Czech contemporary fiction and is full of surprises, offering us a Prague that lurches deliciously from the magical to the seedy, from a misty past to a hi-tech future. The book had its Prague launch a few days ago in the Globe English-language bookstore, and David
The annual international book fair and literary festival Book World Prague got underway on Thursday at the city’s Výstaviště grounds, featuring over 400 exhibitors from 22 countries. I spoke to Radovan Auer, the head of Book World Prague and asked him to tell me more about this year’s main topics, comics and the revolutionary 20th century.
The legendary comics Rychlé Šípy, or Rapid Arrows, by Jaroslav Foglar are making a comeback. Albatros is set re-publish all of the major works by the late writer and youth movement activist, including some previously unreleased texts. The edition is being prepared in cooperation with the Scout Foundation of Jaroslav Foglar.
This year’s edition of the Book World Prague will welcome a record 404
exhibitors from 22 countries, organisers said on Wednesday. The trade fair
will run at the city’s Výstaviště from May 10 to 13.
The themes of the 24th edition of Book World Prague will be comics and the revolutionary 20th century. Last year the event attracted around 45,000 visitors.
Celebrated biathlete Gabriela Koukalová, named sportswoman of the year last December, has thrown something of a proverbial grenade into the sport’s community with a tell-all book just published. Named Jiná or Different the book deals with a number of issues including serious eating disorders the athlete suffered.
Czech president burns giant red underpants at press briefing
Merkel calls Sudeten German expulsion “immoral”, drawing Czech ire
Restoration work on Prague’s Astronomical Clock reveals hidden secrets
Czech restaurants and pubs facing serious shortage of workers
Václav Klaus: Russia not a threat to Czech Republic, unlike EU