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'Our very best writer today' Milan Kundera
Bohumil Hrabal was born in 1914 in Brno-Zidenice, Moravia. He received a degree in Law from Prague's Charles University, and lived in Prague since the late 1940s. In the 1950s he worked as a manual laborer in the Kladno ironworks, from which he drew inspiration for his "hyper-realist" texts he was writing at that time. He won international acclaim for such books as I Served the King of England and Too Loud a Solitude. Hrabal is considered, along with Jaroslav Hasek and Karel Capek, as one of the greatest Czech writers of the 20th century, and perhaps the most important in the post-war period. In February 1997 he flew out of his hospital window never to return.
"The fantasising and storytelling deliver a body blow of total irreverence to the solemn mythopoeia of monumental historiography" * Times Literary Supplement * "Hrabal bounces and floats. His mode is a sort of dancing realism, somewhere between fairytale and satire.He is a most sophisticated novelist, with a gusting humour and a hushed tenderness of detail. We should read him" -- Julian Barnes "Well worth reading" * The Book Magazine *