Literary Reportage. The writer, editor and oral historian Alena Wagnerová has been involved in the significant genre of literary reportage for more than 50 years. The collection selected by the Maraton publishing house comprises the best of her texts written in 1965–2016, i.e. both texts published in magazines in the Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland, and those that could not be published in the late-1960s Czechoslovakia due to political reasons.
The Disoriented. One night, a phone rings in Paris. Adam learns that Mourad, once his closest friend, is dying. He quickly throws some clothes in a suitcase and takes the first flight out, to the homeland he fled twenty-five years ago. Exiled in France, Adam has been leading a peaceful life as a respected historian, but back among the milk-white mountains of the East his past soon catches up with him.
Hearts Too Fast. In the new prosaic book by Alena Wagnerová the reader is about to meet a range of real historical characters – the Catholic bishop Antonín Podlaha, the writers Karl Kraus and Rainer Maria Rilke, the painter Max Švabinský or the personalities of Johannes and Sidonie Nádherný. Yet it is not a historical novel.
Novely a povídky
The Latehomecomer. In this selection of 13 stories which were published in The New Yorker, Gallant shows herself to be one of the century’s most accomplished, and least conventional, writers of short fiction.
Gallant was never afraid to push the boundaries of the form: many of her longer stories stray into novella field, and even her shortest pieces often defy the expectations created in the first few pages. Gallant’s characters are almost all exiles of one sort or another, twentieth-century seekers often marked by World War II and its aftermath.
I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem. This wild and entertaining novel expands on the true story of the West Indian slave Tituba, who was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, arrested in 1692, and forgotten in jail until the general amnesty for witches two years later. Maryse Condé brings Tituba out of historical silence and creates for her a fictional childhood, adolescence, and old age.
Eastern Approaches. Sir Fitzroy Maclean’s famous account of his diplomatic and military career between 1937 and 1945 is published in Czech for the first time. Maclean’s adventurous narrative, delivered with unmistakable wit and personal charm, served as one of the models for Fleming’s series of James Bond novels.
The Little Lamp Was Burning Still. Oldřiška, the narrator of Iva Tajovská’s new novel, takes us from the beginning of the 20th century through to the summer of 1972 when the demolition of the famous Veselka Hotel in Pardubice symbolically completed her life story. As a result of her troubled family circumstances and her platonic love, she spent her youth and adulthood in loneliness and seclusion, which made her all the more sensitive to the fates of others.
Eseje, úvahy, glosy
History and the Post-Factual Age. Essays, Reflections and Commentaries. In his texts Igor Lukeš offers two poles of his perspective—history and politics. He examines the Czech history of the 20th century with its catastrophes and myths, and today’s political problems in the Czech Republic, the United States, Russia and in the world context. He assumes that we can draw lessons from history. History may not repeat itself, but with a sufficiently critical and value-based perspective, we can uncover our own mistakes and preconceptions and find parallels between the present and the past that are not obvious at first glance.
Blue Blood. The book tells the story of Ida Zmoiro, whom Buida based on Soviet actress Valentina Karavaeva. “Actress” sounds glamorous, but Ida’s life is filled with pain: a brief marriage to an Englishman, an accident that ruins her film career by making her face look like a broken plate, the Stalinist repression, and the sudden appearance of a former husband’s wife and child. As Ida likes to say, “happiness makes you fat”. In this dark, Soviet-era transformation of a fairy tale, Buida creates his own myth of a bright soul in a world inhabited by drunkards, madmen and crooks.
Román jeho života
Balzac. Novel of his life. Zweig devoted ten years of research and writing to Balzac, which he regarded as his crowning achievement. This late work reads like a picaresque novel, with Balzac’s quest for “a woman with a fortune” and recurrent episodes of the author chasing an elusive pot of gold driving the story. This biography of one classic author by another is filled with Zweig’s characteristic psychological insights.