New Book

My Life After Life

My Life After Life
(2013)

On December 8th, 2012, Michal Viewegh has suffered an aortic dissection. He was resuscitated after a very long half-hour, and as dr. Skalsky said, had they decided not to operate on Michal, it wouldn’t be a violation of any medical procedure. Except that they had… And not only has Michal, against all odds, survived, he is now, less than a year later, publishing a new (his twenty-fifth) book. It is his attempt to capture the life of a man with brain damage, a man who should be happy to stay alive… but isn’t. Even though he did survive, his whole life has crumbled around him. He fully depends on those around him – and only too often it occurs to him: wouldn’t it be better if I…
But his writing keeps him going, and this book, despite all the pain he’s going through, helps him heal his bruised soul.

 

Novels

The Bleak Castle of Prague / Mráz přichází z Hradu

The Bleak Castle of Prague / Mráz přichází z Hradu
(2012)

Diana, a female stockbroker and a stunner (now working as a TV presenter), and a journalist Marek Konwicki come across a shocking recording of Václav Klaus meeting with Vladimir Putin; Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda publicly challenges lobbyist Roman Janoušek to a sword duel; two wanted neo-nazis wend their way to a gay rights rally with a bomb in their backpack; and a trans woman Kristýna brings the so-called Super Secret Book a.k.a. a diary of the President´ mysteriously drowned male lover to MF DNES office. These is the opening scene of Michal Viewegh’s latest book. Among other characters of this bitter social and political freak show are Petr Nečas, his Chief of Staff Jana Nagyová, Livia Klausová, Secretary of Transportation Vít Bárta, Secretary of Interior Radek John, Archbishop Duka or Russian Ambassador Sergei Kiselyov. Several other publicly known figures briefly appear in the book as well, such as Petr Hájek and Ladislav Jakl, two of the President’s men, singer Daniel Landa, the head of the Czech Security Information Service Jiří Lang, Jana Bobošíková or Miloš Zeman. Viewegh audaciously hovers on the edge of freedom of speech and offers his readers a thrilling and amusing collage that consitutes a dangerously true, albeit an exaggerated one, picture of the present-day Czech Republic. While the previous Viewegh’s bestseller has been described as an explosive book about political scum, the loose sequel is a mixture with even greater force.

Another Wonderful Year

Another Wonderful Year
(2011)

The Czech Republic's most popular writer Michal Viewegh has returned to the diary form after a five-year absence, a decision he describes with his usual eloquence. „Firstly I hope that among the unavoidable banalities my diaries contain the occasional non-banal thought, keen observation, witticism, play on words, true emotion, confession, extraordinary encounter, cheering anecdote, and so on. Secondly, I'm a passionate reader and I like to read the diaries of writers; if the diaries of today's top-selling Spanish or Norwegian writer were to appear in Czech, I'd be sure to read them. Thirdly, if my life has been banal at best, the reader has the right to ignore my diaries, right?“
The latest in the series of wonderful years is 2010, the book a fascinating and revealing new portrait of a writer at the top of his game.

The Mafia in Prague / Mafie v Praze

The Mafia in Prague / Mafie v Praze
(2011)

In Prague, this summer does not feel like the usual slow news season: in district 11, opposition politicians and activists are being followed, an attractive female stockbroker called Diana from Patria Finance is being blackmailed by Russian Mafia and a former lobbyist Darek Balík who had stashed away many damaging documents concerning a number of Czech polititians (Secretary of Defence Šesták seems to be, more than others, worried sick about it) has been just removed, way too early, from the witness protection program by Secretary of the Interior Stanislav Langross. Therefore, MF DNES editors have so much to write about they don’t know where to start, a notorious Prague lobbyist nicknamed Mord has to rush back home from Croatia, where he is spending his summer yachting, and a hitman called Ras gets another „job“ from his Příbram boss – and so begins the first thriller by Michal Viewegh, the most popular Czech writer. As well as his other books, this one too only seems to be an easy read. „My intention was to write a brisk and a witty thriller that would also be (unlike less ambitious spine-chillers) a dangerously faithful portrayal of Czech reality and its unforgiving satire,“ Viewegh explains.

Bio-wife / Biomanželka

Bio-wife / Biomanželka
(2010)

“I’ve been convinced that Mojmír’s marriage to Hedvika resembled a softened modern-day version of the age-old story about Modrovous who would kill his wives from the very beginning. You know the story: inexperienced beauty gets married to a sleazy rich monster who at first sight gives her freedom, but eventually ends up obliterating her natural beauty, talent and effervescence,“ says a doula, the narrator of Michal Viewegh’s new book Bio-Wife / Biomanželka .

Initially, the doula only guides Hedvika through her pregnancy and childbirth. Nevertheless, she doesn’t abandon her child-bearing associate and lives with her and her husband for the following seven years. This is the starting point of the humorous novel by the most popular Czech writer. “Ostensibly humorous,” explains the author. “Alas, I cannot deny that the novel is also partly autobiographical.”

A Men’s Novel / Román pro muže

A Men’s Novel / Román pro muže
(2008)

Three middle-aged siblings (a female TV reporter, a local newspaper journalist, and a judge) and a young stripper on a ski holiday which, by sheer luck, does not end up with a murder – this is the basis of this novel.
Clever composition, a fast-moving plot, verbal and situational humour and not least the author´s powers of empathy – all these things serve as guarantees of a readability we have come to expect of Viewegh. This time we can add the uncompromising firmness with which he opens the door on the “secret chamber” of the world of men. The novel is set in its time and place by authentic quotations from Czech politicians and top state officials past and present, who – willy nilly – turn this fictional „men's outing“ into a bitter story in which we all have a share.
A Men´s Novel is Michal Viewegh´s twentieth book. Maybe this is why it is more than a book about the disappointment of women in a world driven by overage boys but also a retrospective, at times self-ironizing demonstration of successful pencraft.

A Wonderful Year – A Diary for 2005 / Báječný rok – Deník 2005

A Wonderful Year – A Diary for 2005 / Báječný rok – Deník 2005
(2006)

The most successful Czech writer has turned for his seventeenth book (after eight novels, two novellas, a collection of short stories, two collections of literary parody, two volumes taken from his newspaper columns and a theatre play) to the genre of the diary. A Wonderful Year is a personal chronicle of 2005 which will captivate the reader; the author's daily entries were bound to be controversial, self-centred as well as topical and replete with self-irony – and above all extraordinarily intimate and revealing…

Dodgeball / Vybíjená

Dodgeball / Vybíjená
(2004)

This book follows the varied lives of several high-school classmates, from their teenage growing pains to their early forties. Connoisseurs of the work of the most popular Czech author will find intact his familiar style (the slightly melancholic grotesque), in a tale which deals with friendship, love and destiny, alcohol, beauty and ugliness, and above all with the sadness that slowly penetrates the lives of the ageing characters. This book is considered one of Viewegh´s masterpieces so far.

The Case of Unfaithful Klára / Případ nevěrné Kláry

The Case of Unfaithful Klára / Případ nevěrné Kláry
(2003)

The story begins in the office of a private eye named Denis Pravda who specialises in following unfaithful partners. One day he´s approached by a popular writer Norbert Černý. The Case of Unfaithful Klára is not only an artistically formed self-parody on the life of a so-called successful author, but, above all, it´s a cleverly composed tale of love, friendship, and jealousy. The story is set in faraway China and, constructed using elements of the detective novel, it has a number of unexpected twists.

The Wonderful Years Under Klaus / Báječná léta s Klausem

The Wonderful Years Under Klaus / Báječná léta s Klausem
(2002)

Exactly ten years after the publication of the novel The Wonderful Years of Lousy Living /Báječná léta pod psa, Michal Viewegh presented us with a loose sequel. Just like Wonderful years, this is a slightly autobiographical work of the grotesque in a melancholic tone, in which the reader is reacquainted with Kvido’s (the son from the Wonderful years) rather peculiar family and is introduced to the popular politician Václav Klaus (the Czech president as of 2008).

A Woman's Novel / Román pro ženy

A Woman's Novel / Román pro ženy
(2001)

Here the female narrator, a twenty-year-old editor who works in a fictive woman’s weekly, candidly assesses her own love affairs. The story provides the author with space for an ironic polemic with the archetypal character so essential to the so-called ‘writing for women’ – the ‘ideal man’.

Notes On Fatherly Love / Zapisovatelé otcovský lásky

Notes On Fatherly Love / Zapisovatelé otcovský lásky
(1998)

The main theme of this novel is not only the problem of youth and adolescence, but also the relationship between children and their parents in a failed marriage. The narration is done alternately by the children and the father, each of which differs greatly in style. The author gradually ties their individual views into a well-composed, complex work.

The Sightseers / Účastníci zájezdu

The Sightseers / Účastníci zájezdu
(1996)

A portrayal of the tragicomic and absurd fates of two dozen tourists during their summer vacation on a bus trip to Italy. Though written in the third person, the content is actually autobiographical. The author describes the misery and banality of human relationships, using a sociologically vibrant sample of Czech tourists of various ages and of various backgrounds.

Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia / Výchova dívek v Čechách

Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia / Výchova dívek v Čechách
(1994)

A novel which can be read in at least four ways: as a suggestive story of the life tragedy of a 20-year-old girl; as a witty satire of the current Czech education system; as a „book about writing books“; and finally also as an ironic love story.

The Wonderful Years of Lousy Living / Báječná léta pod psa

The Wonderful Years of Lousy Living / Báječná léta pod psa
(1992)

The most popular Czech book of the 90's. A wildly comic story about the fate of one ordinary Czech family over the course of 20 years, from the 1960's to the present. At turns humorous, ironic and sentimental, it is an engaging portrait of their attempts to flee from the socialism – or at least to ignore it for as long as possible.

 

Novellas

Angels of the Everyday / Andělé všedního dne

Angels of the Everyday / Andělé všedního dne
(2007)

It is Tuesday, 5th September 2006, in the Nusle suburb of Prague. Fifty-two-year-old Karel has entered the last day of his life, but so far no one knows this but the angels. The new novel by Michal Viewegh brings a few surprises in its choice of protagonists: a young widow, a driving instructor, a suicide, and four angels. It is a story of a single day, by the end of which three human destinies will have merged into one.
In the words of the author, the work is „an agile tale of people, angels and dying… a book about us all. Our time is measured out, but we insist on behaving as though we were immortal“.
Viewegh is the most popular contemporary writer in Czech, and this work is typical for his style in its inventiveness and the boldness of its composition.

The Creative Writing Lesson / Lekce tvůrčího psaní

The Creative Writing Lesson / Lekce tvůrčího psaní
(2005)

In the words of the author himself, this intimate psychological novella is „mainly about how difficult it is to write – and to experience – a story of real emotion in the Czech Republic“. But The Creative Writing Lesson is also an expression of the author's self-consciousness; as if out of the blue, and before the reader's eyes at the same time, this tale of a teacher of creative writing emerges, a tale which glimpses the fortunes of several of his students, most significantly those of a „marvellous substitute mother“. Masterful in the telling, concise in its composition, sense for developing the plot and for mystery, deft in its linking of individual motifs: all these are seemingly obvious parts of this „fast-course in writing“.

Opinions on a Murder / Názory na vraždu

Opinions on a Murder / Názory na vraždu
(1990)

A mystery story set in a small central Bohemian town. One summer night during the annual outdoor carnival a young teacher is murdered. The investigation of her death proceeds slowly, and the local residents quickly take on the roles of self-appointed judges; each has his or her own theory, and some are more closely involved with the teacher than appearances would suggest. More than a classic mystery novel, this is a poignant meditation on unrequited love and the meaning of prejudice.

 

Collected newspaper columns

Serving Two Masters / Na dvou židlích

Serving Two Masters / Na dvou židlích
(2003)

Three years after the publishing of Smorgasbords or: What We´re Like, Michal Viewegh introduces his second book of newspaper columns with the most popular texts written for Lidové noviny, one of the Czech Republic’s most widely read and most prestigious dailies, written between September 2002 and August 2003. The author draws his inspiration from politics and its leading representatives, and also from his marriage, family and many other topics. Forty-three breezily written columns reflect twelve months of life in the Czech Republic with a remarkable sense of humour and for witty punch-lines.

Smorgasbords or: What We´re Like / Švédské stoly aneb Jací jsme

Smorgasbords or: What We´re Like / Švédské stoly aneb Jací jsme
(2000)

Viewegh's skill at writing supple dialogue and providing precise observations and pungent punch-lines is at its most evident in this book. It is a selection of newspaper columns from 1994–1995 and 1999–2000, in which he comments with humour, and sometimes with sarcasm, the world of politics, the tabloids, and the commercial television channels.

 

Short stories

Tales of Love / Povídky o lásce

Tales of Love / Povídky o lásce
(2009)

Lovers, young and old, spouses and ex-spouses, bachelors and widows, naked and secret passions or a complicated relationship between a son and his dying father. In a word: love. Love, in its many forms and colors, is the underlying theme of this book by Michal Viewegh, the most popular contemporary Czech author.
In these sixteen short stories, in which stylistic and narrative artristry combine with superb composition skills and a variety of topics, Viewegh again proves to be an acute observer of both, happy, and not-so-happy face of love. His insightful tales, rich in trademark Viewegh irony, with occasional feelings of sadness or melancholy surfacing, are, as always, bursting with humour and wit.

Tales of Marriage and Sex / Povídky o manželství a o sexu

Tales of Marriage and Sex / Povídky o manželství a o sexu
(1999)

This volume of short stories discusses the narrator’s loves over seventeen-odd years. After being a timid lover who marries his first girlfriend and eventually divorces her, the hero becomes a man of experience who nevertheless remains incapable of maintaining a long-term, satisfying relationship with a woman. With aloofness and a kind of caricature, Viewegh makes his sexually and socially successful hero find out the causes of the main character feels out of place and why he´s frustrated, yet without granting him the courage to leave the blind circle of empty ‚erotic abundance‘.

 

Fairy tales

Short Fairy Tales for Tired Parents / Krátké pohádky pro unavené rodiče

Short Fairy Tales for Tired Parents / Krátké pohádky pro unavené rodiče
(2007)

fairy tales both for children and parents

In the voluminious works of the most popular Czech writer we meet fairy tales for the first time. He writes about four-year old Sára and her two-year old sister Bára, not forgetting their Mummy and Daddy. In comparison with lengthy classical stories for children these stories have the advantage of brevity – each can be read comfortably in ten minutes. In addition to this they include comments of a more sensuous nature – which will be valued by adults particularly (these comments are printed in a different colour). It is difficult to say if this book is meant for kids primarily, or actually for parents. With these fairy-non-fairy tales both parents and children have a slice of the action; they are written in such a way that nobody gets bored. The book is wonderfully illustrated.

 

Literary parodies

More Thoughts of a Loving Reader / Nové nápady laskavého čtenáře

More Thoughts of a Loving Reader / Nové nápady laskavého čtenáře
(2000)

Seven years after publishing Thoughts of a Loving Reader, the author returns to the genre of literary parody. Wittily, sometimes with sympathy, sometimes with sarcasm, he caricatures the form and style of famous writers from various countries and a broad spectrum of genres, not omitting the critics.

Thoughts of a Loving Reader / Nápady laskavého čtenáře

Thoughts of a Loving Reader / Nápady laskavého čtenáře
(1993)

Literary parodies of 21 works by Czech and world authors, including Milan Kundera, Bohumil Hrabal, Josef Škvorecký, Pavel Tigrid, Ernest Hemingway, Alberto Moravia, Nathalie Saurrault, Henry Miller, Nikos Kazantzakis, Raymond Moody, Erich Segal, and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

 
Search: 

Publisher Druhé město, Krkoškova 19, 613 00 Brno, e-mail: dopisy@druhemesto.cz