The Golden City of Prague has long been an intellectual centre of the western world. The writers collected here range from the early nineteenth century to the present and include both Prague natives and visitors from elsewhere. Here are stories, legends, and scenes from the city’s past and present, from the Jewish fable of the golem, a creature conjured from clay, to tales of German and Soviet invasions. The international array of writers ranges from Franz Kafka to Ivan Klima to Bruce Chatwin, and includes the award-winning British playwright Tom Stoppard and former American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, both of whom have Czech roots. Covering the city’s venerable Jewish heritage, the glamour of the belle-epoque period, World War II, Communist rule, the Prague Spring, the Velvet Revolution, and beyond, Prague Stories weaves a remarkable selection of fiction and nonfiction into a literary portrait of a fascinating city.
Richard Bassett, former Central European correspondent for The Times, knows his subject inside out. Here is Prague in all its brilliance, a city rich in folklore both Slavic and Jewish, whose history is the stuff of legend – Jan Hus, Charles IV and his eponymous bridge, serial defenestrations; Prague in the dark years of World War II, in the grey years of Communism, in the excitement of the Velvet Revolution. And here is today’s Prague, a vibrant cosmopolitan capital where a new generation of Czech writers – Sylva Fischerova, Daniela Hodrova and others – explores its identity in new and exciting ways.
A unique collection of fiction and non-fiction to delight and stimulate travellers and stay-at-homes alike.
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