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Mark Slouka: Labyrinth of the Heart

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: February 11, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

A meeting with the Czech-American novelist

The biography of the author’s father, Zdeněk Slouka(1923–2012), reflects the history of the 20th century. During the war a forced labourer, he was later an editor of the “Svobodné” (Free) Lidové noviny newspaper. Following the Communist coup he fled with his family into exile, where he spent over 40 years and taught at a university. On returning to his homeland he continued his publishing work and was awarded the Ferdinand Peroutka Prize. One might expect such a forceful, multi-layered figure to be the central character of a memoir by his son. However, that role is played by the writer’s mother Olga. Disastrously unhappily married and given to fits of sorrow and rage, she terrorises her husband and traumatises her son, to whom she is utterly devoted. The author plays with memory and attempts to separate fiction from fact, refusing to embroider, apologise or ameliorate. He carefully pieces together the story of his parents, marked by both his mother’s fateful relationship with another man and unexpectedly lengthy and arduous exile.

The discussion will feature the author, publisher Aleš Lederer and translator Josef Moník. Actor Kajetán Písařovic will read excerpts and Denisa Novotná will moderate.

The evening is organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Prostor publishing house.


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