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20. století

Bohumil Hrabal

Prominent Czech writer
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He was one of the most significant writers of the second half of the 20th century and was famous for his originality. He based most of his works on personal life experiences, which he enhanced with exaggerations and a great deal of humor, often quite dark.
He came from a simple family from Brno and went to law school at the Charles University. But his studies were interrupted by the Second World War and the closing down of all faculties, so he had to wait until 1946 to graduate. During the war he made a living as a train dispatcher, which is an experience that resurfaced in one of his greatest novels, Closely Watched Trains. After the war he was quite unpopular with the regime and

made a living as best he could. He kept changing jobs and worked among others as an insurance agent or as an old-paper crusher. Since 1970 he published his works in “samizdat” (underground publishing system during communism) and a lot of his novels were published by the publishing company Prazska emigrace based abroad. Hrabal associated with Egon Bondy and his work is also acclaimed abroad, his books are translated into 28 foreign languages.

Novels translated into English are marked with a *.
Skylarks on a String, 1965
Raconteurs, 1964
Closely Watched Trains*, 1964
The Gentle Barbarian, 1973
Cutting it Short*, 1976
The Snowdrop Festival, 1978
I Served the King of England*, 1971


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