Antonín Bajaja was born into a well-known medical family in the small Moravian industrial town of Zlín on 30 May 1942. He began writing in the 1960s while studying at the University of Agriculture in Brno and after graduating spent much of his life working for livestock co-operatives. In the 1990s, he joined Radio Brno as an editor and began writing journalism, poetry and fiction. In addition to English, his work has been published in Russian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Slovene. In 2004, he won the Magnesia Litera Prize for his novel Zvlčení [Growing Wild] and was awarded the Czech State Prize for Literature in 2010 for the original Czech edition of Burying the Season. Zvlčení was also shortlisted for the 2017 St Petersburg Library Prize for Foreign Fiction. He is an active member of Czech PEN.
(Photo: Jan Němec)
A.M. Bakalar was born in Poland and lives in London. Her first novel Madame Mephisto was published in 2012 and was a reader nomination for the 2012 Guardian First Book Award. In 2015 her short story ‘Woman of Your Dreams’ was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and her writing has appeared in The Guardian and The International New York Times. She has also appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 3 Night Waves, Proms Plus Literary and BBC Radio 4 At Home Abroad. A.M. Bakalar’s second novel Children of Our Age is published by Jantar in October 2017.
(Photo: Mariusz Smiejek)
Balla (1967), who goes only by his surname, has been called “the Slovak Kafka”, “the chief alchemist of Slovak literature” and “the uncrowned king of Slovak outsiders and misfits”. He has published ten books, mostly short fiction and his works have been translated into English, German, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene and Serbian. The novella In the Name of the Father was voted Book of the Year by the Slovak daily SME in 2012 and in the same year awarded both the Tatrabanka Foundation Art Prize for Literature and Anasoft Litera Prize.
(Photo: Lucia Gardin)
Agnieszka Dale (née Surażyńska) is a Polish-born London-based author conceived in Chile. Her short stories, feature articles, poems and song lyrics were selected for Tales of the Decongested, The Fine Line Short Story Collection, Liars' League London, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3's In Tune Live from Tate Modern, and the Stylist website. In 2013 she was awarded the Arts Council England TLC Free Reads Award. Her story “The Afterlife of Trees” was shortlisted for the 2014 Carve Magazine Esoteric Short Story Contest and longlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize 2014.
(Photo: Elzbieta Piekacz)
Daniela Hodrová has pursued a dual career as a prominent writer of fiction and a prolific literary scholar. The recipient of the Czech State Prize for Literature in 2011 and the international Franz Kafka Prize in 2012, Hodrová is only the second woman to receive these awards. Her novels have been translated into French, German, English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Bulgarian, Swedish, Norwegian and Dutch.
(Photo: Elena Sokol)
Jan Křesadlo(1926–1995) was the pseudonym chosen by Dr Václav Jaroslav Karel Pinkava, a Czech emigré psychologist who settled in Britain with his wife and four children after the 1968 invasion of his native Czechoslovakia. He worked as a clinical psychologist in Colchester until his early retirement in 1982, when he turned to full-time writing. GraveLarks, his first novel, was originally published by Josef Škvorecký’s émigré publishing house ‘68 Publishers in Toronto. Pinkava was also active in choral music and mathematical logic discovering the many-valued logic algebra which bears his name.
(Photo: Pinkava estate)
Jiří Pehe served Czech President Václav Havel in various roles from 1997 to 2003 and has been the director of New York University in Prague since 1999. He has written numerous essays and papers that have appeared online, in newspapers and academic publications across the world and has also published several books, including three novels. Three Faces of an Angel is his first novel to be published in English.
Michal Viewegh is a novelist, short story writer, newspaper columnist and playwright. His 25 books have appeared in 23 languages and been turned into 10 feature films. Recipient of the Jiří Orten prize and the Magnesia Litera prize, he remains the Czech Republic’s most popular and prolific writer. Bliss was it in Bohemia was his breakthrough novel when it was published in 1992. It was turned into a Czech feature film in 1997 under its original Czech title of Báječná léta pod psa.