Denemarkova_(c)_Milan Malicek.jpg
(c) Milan Malicek

Guest 2010.


Evald Schorm – Sám sobě nepřítelem
Nadace Divadla Na zábradlí
Prag, 1998

Ohlédnutí za Milenou Honzíkovou
Prag, 2003

A já pořád kdo to tluče
Brno, 2005

Ein herrlicher Flecken Erde
München, 2009
[Ü: Eva Profousová]

Smrt, nebudeš se báti aneb Příběh Petra Lébla
Brno, 2008

Radka Denemarková [ Czech Republic ]

Radka Denemarková was born in 1968 in Kutná Hora. After studying and graduating in Prague she lectured at the Institute for Czech Literature at the Charles University, as well as worked as a translator and journalist.

Her second novel »Peníze od Hitlera« (2006, tr: A Wonderful Patch of Earth), which was awarded the prestigious Czech Magnesia-Litera-Prize in 2007, tells the story of the Jewish girl Gita who escapes death in a concentration camp and returns to her home in Bohemia following the war. However, once at home, she is denounced as a German-speaking collaborator by the villagers, humiliated, and once again driven away. After spending her life in Prague working as a doctor, Gita risks one more attempt to return to the home of her lost childhood in order to reconcile with her family, but once again she encounters bitter hostility from the village's younger generation. The novel's strength lies above all in its remorseless challenge to the reader – the persecution of the central character is so vividly depicted that it exerts an almost physical pull throughout. Denemarková's physiological precision reflects her lucid and poetically imagistic language, which relentlessly highlights the directly experienced reality of human brutality and perfidy. This mode of writing, oriented on the scenic, is a result of influences which include her work as a translator of Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Bernhard and her time spent as a reader and dramatic advisor at the Prague theatre Divadlo Na zábradlí. Alongside scripts written for documentary films about Czech figures, Denemarková has most recently published her factual novel about the theatrical director Pétr Lébla (»Smrt, nebudeš se báti aneb příběh Petra Lébla«, 2008, tr: Death, You Will Not Be Afraid; or, The Story of Petra Lébla). Her theoretically concise and detailed writing style is here joined with a fascination of the theatrical world and the powerful literary appropriation of controversial social themes. In her own way, Denemarková thus brings herself full-circle back to her first novel »A já pořád kdo to tluče« (2005, tr: Who is Constantly Knocking?), which used hysterical prose to portray the theatrical milieu as a place of deep passions in a tense and thrillingly grotesque story of murder, addiction and existential doubts. This is yet another facet of Denemarková's boundary-crossing writing. Her stage play »Spaci vady« (tr: Sleep Disorders) is premièred at the Divadlo Na zábradlí theatre in Prag in 2010.

The author has twice won the Magnesia-Litera-Prize, and has been nominated for the Alfréd-Radok-Prize and, most recently, the Josef-Škvorecký-Prize. She lives and works in Prague.