12 May 2016 19:00
Tomáš Zmeškal & Hamid Ismailov in conversation with Misha Glenny
Tomáš Zmeškal’s debut novel Love Letter in Cuneiform is a family saga - a story of marriage, love and destiny set in Czechoslovakia between the 1940s and 1990s. Josef meets his wife, Květa, before the WWII at a public lecture and she marries him instead of their mutual friend Hynek. But when her husband is arrested and unlawfully imprisoned, Květa gives herself to Hynek in return for help and advice. Exploring what is not spoken, what cannot be said and the repercussions of silence, Zmeškal's tale, told as a mosaic of events, exposes the larger, ongoing struggle of postcommunist Eastern Europe to come to terms with suffering when catharsis is denied.
Hamid Ismailov’s latest book The Dead Lake, long-listed for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction
Prize, is a haunting Russian tale about environmental legacy of the Cold War.
It tells a story of a gifted violinist Yerzhan growing up on the Kazakh
steppes, the Soviet test ground for atomic weapons. Yerzhan falls in love with
the neighbour’s daughter and to impress her, he dives into a forbidden lake. Its
radioactive water stops his growth and he becomes trapped in a boy’s body while
the girl he loves grows into a beautiful woman. Drawing attention to atomic
tests taking place between 1945 and 1989 in Kazakhstan, Ismailov creates a
parable of modern arms race impacting on people’s lives and tradition.
Hamid Ismailov and Tomáš Zmeškal will read from their work and discuss literature and politics with writer and former Central Europe correspondent for Guardian and BBC, Misha Glenny.
Tickets: £5, tickets available in-store, by telephone 020 7851 2400 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
|Published by Peirene Press in February 2014
Translated by Andrew Bromfield
|Published by Yale University Press in May 2016
Translated by Alex Zucker
Part of The Stories We Tell: 2016 European Literature Festival, organized by EUNIC, initiated and coordinated by the Czech Centre.
Waterstones Piccadilly, 203 - 206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD
12 May 2016 19:00
Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event