Underpass Opens to the Czech Republic

When it comes to Czech literature, American readers know Kafka and maybe Čapek. Underpass hopes to broaden that image with this special issue (and ongoing publication) of contemporary Czech literature in English translation.


This Czech language launch features excerpts from four modern Czech novels with vastly different subject matter and styles. In Out as You Please, we race with a young college teacher through the frenetic days leading to the Velvet Divorce of 1989—bouncing between rock shows and protests. Modern European youth grasp for meaning and purpose in Any Beach but This (Slabost pro každou jinou pláž).  Bizom, or Service and Mission (Bizom aneb Služba a mise) invites us to play with the inane stereotypes of society through the games invented by a middle-aged Prague intellectual. In The She-Leapard (Levhartice), we stalk the streets of London as a 42-year-old Czech woman, exploring a renewed visibility to men by having as much sex as possible.


Underpass is honored to give these acclaimed and prolific Czech authors an audience in English.


  • Sylva Fischerová, author of more than ten collections of poems, two volumes of short stories, two children’s books, and two novels, one that was nominated for the prestigious Magnesia Litera Award.
  • Iva Pekárková, author of numerous novels that explore immigration and increased cultural interactions. Several of her books have been published in English.
  • Jiří Pilucha (who has written under the pen names Jiri Puluh-Pilstein and Jiri Pilous) has published several novels to critical and popular acclaim.
  • David Zabranky was awarded the Magnesia Litera for discovery of the year in 2006 for the book that is excerpted on Underpass and has since written several novels celebrated for their insight and originality.


With several contemporary Czech stories and excerpts planned for future months, we’re just getting started promoting Czech literature in translation.


Next we will be launching a collection of Slovak writers and we invite submissions from new and established Slavic-speaking writers and translators in fiction and narrative nonfiction genres. Please see the Submissions page for more information or email editor@underpass.co (note: no “M”) with questions. We’re nice. We’d love to hear from you.