Jan Balabán

About the Author

Jan Balabán (1961-2010) is one of the most popular and greatest Czech contemporary writers. He is a master of the short story, as proven by the fact that his volume of short stories Možná že odcházíme (Perhaps We Are Leaving) received the Magnesia Litera Prize in 2005, was proclaimed Book of the Year 2004 and was chosen as the best book of the last decade. In 2004 he was nominated for the Czech State Prize for Literature. In a survey on the most important Czech authors over the last 20 years, Balabán ended in the top three, together with Milan Kundera and Jáchym Topol.

Balabán also made name with his novels, like Kudy šel anděl Where The Angel Went) and with Zeptej se táty (Ask Dad), which was posthumously published in 2010. The book was awarded with the Magnesia Litera Prize and was chosen as Book of the Year 2010.

His work focuses on the weak and less fortunate, who have to deal with the hardship of daily life and their personal traumatic history. Balabán presents very intimate pictures combined with a great eye for detail. He is a great storyteller and a master of language.

There is large interest in Poland: The publishing house Afera plans to do all of Balaban's short stories and they already published two of his volumes of short stories. Čzeskie Klimaty Publishers is perparing the publication of Ask Dad in Poland, which also was already published in Sweden by Aspekt Publishers. In the mean time the novel was published in the Ukraine by Astrolabe Publishers.Besides that several short stories have been translated in various languages, like Dutch, German, French and English, and were published in literary magazines. One of his longer short stories, Dona nobis pacem, appeared in Dutch as an individual book by Voetnoot publishers.

With the unfortunate and premature death of Balabán Czech literature has lost one of its best contemporary authors. He has however left us with an impressive list of books of high literary quality.

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Publication Published in Published by
Černý beran (Black Ram) 2000 Host Publishers, Brno
Kudy šel anděl (Where The Angel Went) 2003 Vetus Via, Brno
Jsme tady (We Are Here ) 2006 Host Publishers, Brno
Zeptej se táty (Ask Dad) 2010 Host Publishers, Brno
Volumes of short stories
Možná že odcházíme (Perhaps We Are Leaving) 2004 Host Publishers, Brno
Prázdniny (Holiday) 1998 / 2007 Host Publishers, Brno
Collective Works
Povídky (Short Stories) 2010 Host Publishers, Brno
Romány a novely (Novels) 2011 Host Publishers, Brno
Publicistika a hry (Articles and Plays) 2012 Host Publishers, Brno

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Publication Publisher Translated by
Zeptej se táty
Fråge pappa 2012, Aspekt Förlag, Stockholm Mats Larsson
Zapytaj taty 2013, Čzeskie Klimaty, Krakau Olga Czernikow
Pitaj tatu 2017, Dereta, Belgrade Marija Ilić
Chiedi a papŕ 2018, Miraggi edizioni, Borgomanero Alessandro De Vito
Bulgarian edition in progress Izida, Sofia
Macedonian edition in progress Makedonika Litera, Skopje
Kudy šel anděl
Którędy szedł anioł 2015, Wydawnictwo Afera, Wroclaw Olga Czernikow
Macedonian edition in progress Goten, Skopje
Bulgarian edition in progress Izida, Sofia
Hungarian edition in progress Noran Libro, Budapest
Jsme tady
Mи ще тут 2012, Astrolabe, Lviv Ganna Velicko
Wakacje 2011, Wydawnictwo Afera, Wroclaw Julia Różewicz
Možna že odcházíme
Możliwe, że odchodzimy 2011, Wydawnictwo Afera, Wroclaw Julia Różewicz
Може би си отивам 2015, Izida, Sofia
Maybe We're Leaving 2018, Glagoslav Publications, London Charles S. Kraszewski
Macedonian edition in progress Makedonika Litera, Skopje
Dona nobis pacem
Dona nobis pacem 2012, Voetnoot Publishers, Antverp Edgar de Bruin

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