All My Cats
A gem of a book about the aggravations and joys of cats from a literary master
In the autumn of 1965, flush with the unexpected success of his first published books, the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal bought a weekend cottage in Kersko, about an hour’s drive east of Prague. From then until his death, he tended to a community of cats at his country home. Over the years, his relationship to them grew more intense, becoming a measure of the pressures, both private and public, that affected his life as a novelist.
Written in 1983, this is his confessional chronicle of what happened. It is the story of how a cat lover becomes increasingly overwhelmed by the demands of his life, and his cats, finding himself driven to the brink of madness by both the indulgent love and the resentment he feels. Moving, shocking and honest, All My Cats invites us to grapple with the meaning of love and loss.
A stunningly revealing, occasionally deranged exploration of self, with cat ownership the frame through which that exploration is presented, by one of postwar Europe's greatest writers -- Kevin O'Rourke * Michigan Quarterly Review * A most sophisticated novelist, with a gusting humor and a hushed tenderness of detail -- Julian Barnes The very best writer -- Milan Kundera Hrabal was, for all his eccentricity, a major figure in 20th-century world literature -- Jonathan Coe Hrabal, to my mind, is one of the greatest European prose writers -- Philip Roth One of the great prose stylists of the 20th century; the scourge of state censors; the gregarious bar hound and lover of gossip, beer, cats and women -- Parul Sehgal
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