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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (note: no “M”) with questions. We’re nice. We’d love to hear from you.