The Czech Books You Must Read
Kafka, Čapek, Kundera and Havel, these are all world renowned names, but what about all the others? How well are Czech authors actually known abroad? Can you find a bookshop in Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Paris or New York that aside from classics such as The Good Soldier Švejk also sell the works of contemporary Czech authors?
Václav Havel, master of the (political) Theatre of the Absurd
Ota Pavel’s short stories: bittersweet childhood memories set against the backdrop of WWII
The Cremator by Ladislav Fuks: A macabre study of descent to the dark side
Impetuous, infantile and scientific - Patrik Ouředník’s Europeana
Czech Comics from Ferda the Ant to Zátopek and Cecil’s Quest
Franz Kafka’s The Trial - ambiguous novel that asks deep metaphysical questions
Michal Ajvaz’s The Other City: a dreamlike ode to Prague
War with the Newts: Karel Čapek’s prescient, dystopian magnum opus
Eduard Bass’s The Chattertooth Eleven: a football fairy tale for grown-ups and children
Vladislav Vančura’s Marketa Lazarová: A medieval epic exploring the possibilities of Czech language
At Radio Prague International we have decided to map out the popularity and availability of Czech books abroad and find out which books have been translated into international languages such as English, German, Russian, Spanish and French. At the same time we will be providing our foreign audience with the opportunity to get acquainted with past and present Czech literary jewels.
The aim of the project is to give you a list of arguably the best and most popular Czech novels and poetry ever written, presenting not only the established classics, but also introducing the leading contemporary authors.