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11 May 2016 18:30

Tomáš Zmeškal: Love Letter in Cuneiform

Acclaimed Czech author Tomáš Zmeškal will be visiting Sheffield for what promises to be a rewarding evening. The reading will be in Czech and English, with a Q&A afterwards.

One of the stars of Czech literature, Zmeškal—the son of a Congolese father and a Czech mother—was born in Prague in 1966. During the 1980s, he was a member of the underground Czech band Psí vojáci (Dog Soldiers), led by Filip Topol. In 1987, he left Czechoslovakia and went to England, where he studied English literature at King’s College in London.

Zmeškal’s debut novel Milostný dopis klínovým písmem was published in 2008, and its English translation will be released in May by Yale University Press as Love Letter in Cuneiform (translated by Alex Zucker). This first novel brought him critical acclaim; using a post-modern and fragmented style, the author presents the story of a couple torn apart by the regime’s secret police. Shortlisted for the Magnesia Litera Award, the book received the distinguished Josef Škvorecký Prize in 2009, as well as the European Union Prize for Literature in 2011.

His next two novels have been autobiographical in nature. The second, Životopis černobílého jehněte (Biography of a Black and White Lamb), published in 2009, describes the racism that Zmeškal experienced under communism. The autobiographical novel Sokrates na rovníku (Socrates at the Equator, 2013) follows Zmeškal's trip to the Congo in search of his father and his parents' story.
Zmeškal lives in Prague.

Organised by Czech & Slovak Society Sheffield

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Tomáš Zmeškal

Waterstones, 24-26 Orchard Square, S1 2FB Sheffield

11 May 2016 18:30


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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