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Ota Pavel (1930-1973) worked for much of his short life as a journalist and sports reporter. Despite serious bouts of mental illness he wrote brilliant, lyrical accounts, some collected in How I Came to Know Fish, of his childhood and his family in a Czechoslovakia under overwhelming threat from Nazism.
A moving, bittersweet coming of age . . . A collection that works its magic quietly * Kirkus Reviews * [The series] sheds remarkable light on the literature, culture and politics of the region...anyone coming fresh to the field will be captivated by the richness, variety, humour and pathos of a classic literature that, through a shared historical experience, transcends national and linguistic boundaries. -- CJ Schuler * Independent on Sunday * This [series] is a wonderful idea ... They are absurdist parables, by turns hilarious, unsettling and enigmatic. -- Nicholas Lezard * Guardian * I urge you to go and read them. -- Adam Thirlwell * New Statesman * This new series of Central European Classics is important well beyond simply providing 'good reads'. -- Stephen Vizinczey * Daily Telegraph *