Contemporary Czech Prose Writers

Jáchym Topol
Siostra topol
Nachtarbeit topol
Read Alex Zucker's translation of Chapter 1 of City Sister Silver by Jáchym Topol at Catbird Press. Order City Sister Silver from Amazon. City Sister Silver is reviewed at World Press Review On-Line and at Central Europe Review. Read an extract from Angel Station (Andel, 1995), also by Jáchym Topol and translated by Alex Zucker.
While still in his twenties, Jáchym Topol became editor of Revolver Revue, the most important Czech samizdat magazine. He practised investigative and foreign journalism with Respekt. His first book of poetry, I Love You Madly, won the Tom Stoppard Prize for Unofficial Literature. His poetry has been translated into many languages, including English, and was chosen by Allen Ginsberg for reading at a Celebration of Prague in New York City. Excerpts from his prose work have appeared in numerous English-language magazines and anthologies, including Daylight in Nightclub Inferno: Czech Fiction from the Post-Kundera Generation (Catbird, 1997), This Side of Reality: Czech Short Fiction (1996), Prague: A Traveler's Literary Companion (1995). He lives in Prague with his wife and daughter. Go to Catbird Press for more information on Jáchym Topol.

Some Critical Reaction to City Sister Silver
Winner of the Egon Hostovský Prize as the best Czech book of the year, City Sister Silver is also the only novel of the 1990s included on a list of the hundred greatest Czech prose works. The list was compiled following a survey of Czech writers and critics conducted by the newspaper Týden.
'A masterpiece of postcommunist Czech fiction.'
Talk magazine (included in April Talk 10)

Like all grand epics, Jáchym Topol's City Sister Silver ... demands to be read multiple times, so dense is it with allusion, metaphor and complexities of plot.
Sudip Bose, Washington Post Book World

City Sister Silver is nothing short of brilliant. Topol's language is dense and apocalyptic, but his influences and intellectual fetishes (Vonnegut, Burroughs, Native American lore) should connect with American readers.
Richard Byrne, St. Louis Magazine

'...Topol aptly captures the period's social dislocation, and the hallucinatory quality of even everyday experiences ... It achieves a level of horrific lyricism reminiscent of the ravings of a minor, denunciatory Old Testament prophet. ... the narrative acquires the power of truth transmitted through sharp-honed fantasy and resonant vision.'
Publishers Weekly

Topol is already being hailed as the supernova of post-1989 Czech fiction . . . and Zucker has emerged as a leader of what Daylight in Nightclub Inferno calls "the new generation," already ranking among the established translators.' Randall Lyman, San Francisco Bay Guardian

'City Sister Silver marks a turning point in Czech prose...the novel incorporates the tremendous hum of life and raw materials that has piled up with time, and does so with verve and with bold artistic stylization. . . . Topol's novel is a cross between a picaresque novel about the wanderings of Potok, the hounded narrator, and a breakneck-paced thriller complete with agents, spies, dead bodies, and mafiosi. . . . Weaving through the story is the motif of love. The amorous tension is evident from the first sentences, and following how that yearning escalates, emerging and working its way into clarity, is one of the greatest experiences of reading this book.'
Jiri Penás in Mladá fronta dnes

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