Jáchym Topol was born in Prague in 1962. In the eighties, he began publishing subversive poems and established himself as a familiar spokesperson for Czechoslovakia’s fringe culture. Until the early nineties, he was a member of the underground band Psí vojáci. In 1988 he won the Tom Stoppard Award, which has been awarded to Czech writers since 1983. In 1994, Topol turned to prose and published his first novel, Sister, which critics quickly hailed as the book of the decade, turning it into a cult novel. Topol has contributed regularly to the daily newspaper Lidové noviny, focusing mostly on social issues, minorities, and marginalized groups. In 2012 he presented his candidacy to the Czech senate for the Green Party but withdrew a few months later for health reasons. In 2009 he published a short novel titled Chilly Land, for which he received the 2010 Cena Jaroslava Seiferta award, one of the most prestigious awards in the Czech Republic. Topol also published plays and short stories as well as a collection of Native American stories that he edited. Today he lives in Prague with his wife and two daughters.
Jaroslav Hašek (1883-1923) was a Czech journalist, satirist, and author. He has written over 1,500 short stories, a portion of which were collected to became his major work of prose, the novel The Good Soldier Švej. On the futility of war and his own sincere agenda toward his readers, he has written the following: “It is very important for me to educate the honorable public, what strange things are happening in the world, so that after reading this book, they can draw new strength and love the world again, so they will know how to move on on our miserable planet without losing hope.”
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