Jaroslav Seifert, (born Sept. 23, 1901, Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary [now in Czech Republic]--died Jan. 10, 1986, Prague, Czech.), poet and journalist who in 1984 became the first Czech to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.Seifert made a living as a journalist until 1950, but his first book of poetry, Mesto v slzach ("Town in Tears"), was published in 1920. His early proletarian poetry reflects his youthful expectations for the future of communism in the Soviet Union. As he matured, however, Seifert became less enchanted with that system of government, and his poetic themes began to evolve...
Josef Vaclav Skvorecky, Czech-born writer (born Sept. 27, 1924, Nachod, Bohemia, Czech. [now in Czech Republic]--died Jan. 3, 2012, Toronto, Ont.), was popular with the reading public but faced persecution by Czechoslovakia's communist government. For many years (1971-94) after having gone into exile, he and his wife, writer Zdena Salivarova, ran Sixty-Eight Publishers, a Toronto-based publishing house that focused on issuing the works of other emigre writers. Skvorecky attended Charles University, Prague (Ph.D., 1951), and then remained in Prague as an editor (1953-63) at Odean..
Ivan Klima, (born September 14, 1931, Prague, Czechoslovakia [now Czech Republic]), Czech author whose fiction and plays were long banned by his country's communist rulers.Klima spent three boyhood years in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, an experience he recorded in his first published writing in 1945. His first book, Mezi tremi hranicemi (1960; "Between Three Borders"), was a nonfiction work on Slovakia. In the 1960s he wrote stories for animated films, served as the editor of Literarni noviny ("Literary News"), edited a book of essays by Karel Capek, and wrote fiction, including..
Bohumil Hrabal, (born March 28, 1914, Brno, Czech.--died Feb. 3, 1997, Prague), Czech author of comic, nearly surreal tales about poor workers, eccentrics, failures, and nonconformists.In his youth Hrabal was influenced by a highly talkative uncle who arrived for a two-week visit and stayed 40 years. Though Hrabal received a law degree from Charles University, he never practiced; instead, he worked as a salesman, in a theatre, and at factory and office jobs. His early short stories collected in Perlicka na dne (1963; A Pearl at the Bottom), Pabitele (1964; Palaverers), and Automat svet (1966;..