Foreign Guests

Foreign Guests


FINLAND [*1942]
15. 5. | 14.00 | Author's Hall
15. 5. | 17.00 | Author's Hall
Leading Finnish Romani author Veijo Baltzar is proud of his ethnicity and identity. His powerful sense of his Romani identity and his deep understanding of the culture of the majority have allowed him to develop strong and critical views on both worlds. His first novel Polttava tie/The Burning Road (1968; Brännande väg, 1969) caused a sensation. The mythic novel Käärmeenkäräjäkivi (1988) was nominated for the prestigious Finlandia literature prize. His latest novel is In Love and War (2008); it is a tale of the Roma in Europe during the Second World War. Veijo Baltzar is also a poet and the author of theatre scripts, film screenplays and radio plays. In 1976 he founded the Romani theatre group Drom; in 1981 the group won the annual Theatre Action prize.
[ photo Eva Persson


HUNGARY [*1968]
15. 5. | 13.00 | Author's Hall
A prose writer and dramatist from Transylvania, Attila Bartis is one of the most important Hungarian authors of the middle generation. He came to wider recognition with the 2001 novel Tranquility, which in 2003 was adapted as a stage play with the title Anyám, Cleopatra / Cleopatra, My Mother. Attila Bartis’s latest work is the essay collection Lázár-apokrifek / Lazarus’s Apocrypha (2005), which was first published in the periodical Élet és irodalom (Life and Literature). Tranquility – which is published in Czech – has been translated into many languages (notably German, English and French), establishing for its author a reputation as one of the most remarkable writers of prose in central Europe today.
[ photo author archive


FRANCE [*1954]
14. 5. | 16.00 | Chamber Hall
14. 5. | 17.00 | stand L 501
15. 5. | 14.00 | Author's Hall
Globetrotter, polyglot and authority on submarine archaeology Jean-Marie Blas de Roblés spends most of his time in the deserts of Africa. He unveils to us the Baroque genius of Athanasius Kirchner and introduces us to a whole range of people from the present who are striving to find the meaning of existence in today’s mad world. His first book La Mémoire du riz (1982), an anthology of short stories in which fantasy and mythology intermingle; for this work he receives an award from L’Académie Française in the “short stories” category. The 2008 novel La ou les tigres sont chez eux/Where Tigers Feel at Home is a formidable work in which incredible erudition is coupled with a remarkable narrative talent.
[ photo Michel Diedisheim


U.S. [*1941]
15. 5. | 14.00 | Author's Hall
16. 5. | 11.00 | Chamber Hall
16. 5. | 12.00 | stand L 501
Writer, journalist, translator and actor who lives by turns in New York and the Danish village of Prasto, George Blecher is a former professor of literature at the City University of New York. Today he is a full-time writer who lives mainly by his journalism. He is an occasional writer of short stories, which so far have appeared mostly in periodicals. The collection Other People Exist is his first book; it has appeared already in Denmark, and American, French and Turkish editions are in preparation.
[ photo Bill Napoleon


U.S. [*1969]
13. 5. | 13.00 | Author's Hall
He is graduate of Ohio University. After his studies he moved to New York, where he worked in television on the Late Show with David Letterman. He later went into television production and worked on a number of documentaries. Michael Buckley also worked as a screenwriter for the TV channels Nickelodeon, Disney, MTV Animation, Sci-Fi Channel, Discovery and VH1. The first book (of seven books so far) in his bestselling fantasy series for children and young people The Sisters Grimm, on which Buckley works with illustrator Peter Ferguson, was published in 2005. The series has won many prizes, including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and the Kirkus Best Fantasy Book Award; it has also been in the best-seller lists of the New York Times.
[ photo author archive


15. 5. | 15.00 | Literary Cafe
15. 5. | 16.00 | stand L 402
Stephen Clarke is a British writer and journalist who works for a French press group. He studied French and German at Oxford, after which he had a wide range of jobs, including one writing comedy sketches for the BBC. He lives in Paris. Stephen Clarke is best known for his “Merde” books, which contain stories replete with Anglo-French humour. A Year in the Merde, a record of his many adventures working as a marketing advisor in Paris, was written to amuse his colleagues; when he circulated the book among his friends he had no idea it would cause a sensation in London and Paris and become a bestseller throughout Europe soon after. Two further books in the series, Merde Actually and Merde Happens, were similarly well received by Czech readers. A Czech translation of the fourth book in the series, Merde Impossible / Dial M for Merde, will be appearing any day now.
[ photo Tomáš Kubeš


U.S. [*1922]
16. 5. | 11.00 | Literary Hall
Peter Demetz was born in Prague to a Czech-German-Jewish family, he studied Religion, German and Czech Studies in Prague; he emigrated on completion of his doctorate (1949). He continued in his studies of German and Comparative Literature in Switzerland, England and the USA. Between 1950 and 1952 Peter Demetz worked as an editor for Radio Free Europe; after 1962 he was a full professor of Germanic Language and Literature and Comparative Literature at Yale University (New Haven). Professor Demetz is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Cambridge) and the holder of many major awards, including the Golden Goethe Award of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Johann Heinrich Merck Prize. In 2000 he received the State Medal of Merit from Václav Havel for his services to science and literature.
[ photo author archive


SLOVAKIA [*1975]
14. 5. | 18.00 | Shakespeare and Sons
Poet, translator, film critic and theoretician, she studied at the Film and Television School in Bratislava, where she now teaches, and at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. Among the French-language authors she has translated into Slovak are Paul Virilio, Amélie Nothomb, Jean Echenoz, Philippe Brenot and Philippe Sollers. She published her first collection Skryté titulky (Hidden Subtitles) in 2003 and her second Princíp neistoty (The Principle of Uncertainty) in 2008.
[ photo LAF archiv


SLOVAKIA [*1949]
14. 5. | 13.00 | Great Hall
He is a writer, lyricist and dramaturge who studied film and television dramaturgy and screenwriting at the University of Performing Arts in Bratislava, he worked as a dramaturge in the departments of literature and light entertainment of Czechoslovakian Television. He was awarded the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize in 1994 for his work in journalism. In 2008 he received the VÚB Prize for his book Tam tam 3 and in 2009 the Golden Pen Award for best original work for Dole vodou/Down through the Water. Boris Filan has written and published fifteen books, for adults and for young people.
[ photo agentura ITA


13. 5. | 19.30 | Cafe "Černá labuť"
14. 5. | 11.00 | Chamber Hall
Katja Fusek was born in Prague, a city she left for Switzerland with her mother and sister at the age of ten. Katja Fusek has so far published two novels (Novemberfäden, 2002, Janus Verlag; Die stumme Erzählerin, 2006) and a collection of short stories (Der Drachenbaum, 2005). Many of her shorter writings have appeared in anthologies and literary magazines. She has won several literary awards, including the 2003 “Oberrheinischer Rollwagen” and the OpenNet prize for shorter prose of the Solothurn Literary Days in 2003 and 2005. Katka Fusek is a member of the Swiss Writers’ Association and the presidium of the ARENA Riehen literature initiative. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Riehen near Basel.
[ photo Barbora Gerny


GERMANY [*1970]
15. 5. | 14.00 | Literary Cafe
Anna Katharina Hahn studied German, English and Ethnography in Hamburg; today she lives in Stuttgart. From 1996 to 2001 she worked as an academic at the German Bible Archive and the State and University Archive in Hamburg, in the meantime publishing fiction in magazines and anthologies and two collections of short stories. For her second book she was awarded the 2005 Clemens Brentano Prize of the city of Heidelberg. Her greatest literary success to date is the novel Kürzere Tage/Shorter Days, which was hailed as one of the best German books of 2009.
[ photo Sven Paustian


SLOVAKIA [*1948]
14. 5. | 13.00 | Great Hall
Musician, singer and producer Pavol Hammel in 1963 he founded the band Prúda; the band’s court lyricists became Kamil Peteraj and Boris Filan. He has recorded twenty-four studio albums. He composed the music for the successful Slovak musical Cyrano z predmestia/Cyrano of Suburbia and Everest, a music and dance show that has been performed at the Slovak National Theatre since November 2009. Pavol Hammel won gold and bronze “lyres” in the “Bratislavská lyra” popular music awards of the former Czechoslovakia. In 2009 he was awarded the Pavol Štrauss Prize of the Faculty of Arts of Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. photo Sony BMG
[ photo Sony BMG


SLOVAKIA [*1942]
13. 5. | 19.30 | Café & Bookstore FRA

14. 5. | 18.00 | Shakespeare and Sons
She is a leading Slovak poet and translator. She worked as editor of the Slovak literary magazine Romboid between 1986–1996. Since her debut twenty years ago, she has published sixteen collections of poetry, including the recent Atlas of Sand (all 2001), Archives of the Body (2004), Target(s) (2005), Plant with a Dream: Vertical (2006), White Manuscripts (2007) and Disappearing Angels (2008). Her selection of her poems was published in English under the title Scent of the Unseen (Arc, 2003). She translates poetry mainly from English and German and has prepared selections from the work of Sylvia Plath, Ingeborg Bachmann and other authors.
[ photo LAF archiv


14. 5. | 13.00 | Literary Cafe
Jurij Koch is a member of the first post-war generation of intellectuals from Upper Lusatia that was able to learn the Sorbian language at school. Characteristic of his work are the use in fiction of the language of journalism and multiple reworkings across genres of the same theme, subject or scene. Jurij Koch made his name as an author who promoted the co-existence of Sorbian and German as the natural model for Sorbian literature. Since 1989 he has also worked on his journalism, writing for children, and a diary that is hitherto unpublished. His most recent longer work is the novella At the End of the Day, which appeared in 2008.
[ photo author archive


LATVIA [*1960]
11. 5. | 19.30 | Café & Bookstore FRA
Tha Latvian poet, translator and screen writer was born in Riga, she worked as art restaurer in Crimea and taught in Riga. She spent the early 1990s in the USA where she studied philosophy and 20th century American literature. She translates from Russian and English (Achmatova, Brodsky, Auden and others). She has published three poetry collections: Te debesis, te ciparníca (Now the sky, now the dial, 1997), Iepút tauríté, Skorpion! (Blow the trumpet, Scorpio!, 2001) and Antenu burtníca (Diary of Aerials, 2006). Her poetry is coming out in Czech translation by Pavel Štoll and Petr Borkovec.
[ photo Janis Deinats


TURKEY [*1968]
14. 5. | 18.00 | Shakespeare and Sons
15. 5. | 19.30 | Café & Bookstore FRA
She was born in an Alevi Kurdish family in the ancient Hittite city of Maras in southeast Turkey, and divides her time between Istanbul, Diyarbakir and other places she visits on her travels. Between 1996- 2008 she published five poetry collections, including her last Ibrahim’in Beni Terketmesi (Abraham forsaking me). Her poems has been translated into many languages, including the English selection In the Temple of a Patient God, 2006.
[ photo author archive


14. 5. | 17.00 | Author's Hall
Simon Mawer was educated at Millfield School in Somerset and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he took a degree in biology. For the past thirty years he has lived in Italy. His first novel, Chimera won the McKitterick Prize for first novels. Mendel’s Dwarf (1997) reached a shortlist of ten in contention for the Booker Prize and was named a “book to remember” for 1998. It was followed by the novels The Gospel of Judas, The Fall, for which Simon Mawer won the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, and Swimming to Ithaca. The Glass Room, his tenth book, was nominated for the Man Booker Prize.
[ photo Connie Bonello (poděkování za poskytnutí fota)


15. 5. | 12.00 | Literary Cafe
His debut collection of poems Mit gesammelter Blindheit / With Collected Blindness was published in 1967; since then there have been twenty more publications, comprising poems, short stories, short novels and essays. The slim, partly autobiographical volume entitled Jakob schläft. Eigentlich ein Roman / Jakob is Asleep. A Novel, Actually (1997) and the subsequent novel Kommen Sie mit mir ans Meer, Fräulein? / Will You Come with Me to the Sea, Miss? (1998) marked a major breakthrough in his work. Klaus Merz’s latest works are Garn. Gedichte / Yarn. Poems (2000), the volume of short stories Adams Kostüm / Adam’s Costume (2001), Löwen. Löwen. Venezianische Spiegelungen / Lions. Lions. Venetian Reflections (2004), and Der Argentinier. Novelle / The Argentinian. A Novella (2009). Klaus Merz has also written plays for radio and stage, film screenplays, and children’s books. Merz’s awards include the Literature and Culture Prize of the Canton of Aargau, the Solothurn Literature Prize, the Hermann Hesse Prize of the City of Karlsruhe and the Gottfried Keller Prize for his work as a whole (2004).
[ photo Franziska Messner-Rast


15. 5. | 11.00 | Chamber Hall
Graduated in Journalism in Bratislava, after which she worked in television as an editor. In 1995 she founded a publishing house focusing on spiritual literature. Now lives in Germany, where she leads the Lichtwelten centre of spiritualism. Arranges seminars, courses and lectures; is an instructor in Bach flower therapy and a qualified consultant in Aura-Soma. Her salient themes are the women’s question, radical changes in surviving attitudes to life and obligations, the spiritual dimension of womanhood and partnership.
[ photo author archive


SWEDEN [*1959]
14. 5. | 18.30 | Club K4
15. 5. | 12.00 | Great Hall
15. 5. | 13.00 | stand L 101
15. 5. | 14.00 | Author's Hall
Mikael Niemi is one of the top-selling Swedish authors of the past decade. He is a member of the younger generation of “Tornedalen” writers. He made his debut in 1988 as a poet, since when he has published a collection of reportage and interviews with Tornedalians, adventure novels for young people and plays for radio and stage. His international success is founded to some extent on the autobiographical novel Popular Music from Vittula (2000). In Sweden this work has so far sold 800,000 copies; it was awarded the prestigious August Prize for the best Swedish book of the year, has been translated into thirty languages, and has been made into a film. In May Mikael Niemi’s novel The Man Who Died Like a Salmon (2006) will be published in Czech. The tale of a highly improbable love, it has the plot of a detective story.
[ photo Jovan Dezort


14. 5. | 16.00 | Literary Cafe
After studying German, History, Italian and Empirical Culturology in Tübingen Angelika Overath spent three years working as an author in Greece before returning to Germany in 1991. She currently lives in Sent in the Lower Engadin region of Switzerland. Angelika Overath has written reportage and essays. Since 1998 she has written mainly prose. She is the editor of several anthologies. Angelika Overath has written two novels, Nahe Tage/Near Days and Flughafenfische/Airport Fish. photo Peter Granser
[ photo Peter Granser


PORTUGAL [*1962]
14. 5. | 14.00 | Literary Cafe
Inęs Pedrosa is a graduate in the Theory of Communication from Universidade Nova in Lisbon. From 1984 she was editor of the Jornal de Letras literary magazine; in 2008 she became director of the Casa Fernando Pessoa cultural centre in Lisbon. Her 1992 autobiographical novel A Instruçăo dos Amantes (The Instruction of Lovers) brought her to the attention of many readers. Her 1997 novel Nas tuas Maos (In Your Hands), which presents a picture of Portugal in the last century through the lives of the women of one family, was awarded the Prémio Máxima de Literatura. Inęs Pedrosa is also active as a literary critic, principally on the works of José Cardoso Pires. She is the editor of the anthology 20 Mulheres para o Século XX (Twenty Women for the 20th Century), published in 2000. photo zdroj Internet (Google)
[ photo zdroj Internet (Google)


BULGARIA [*1957]
14. 5. | 12.00 | Great Hall
Anzhelina Pencheva was born in Sofia. In 1977 she began to study Slavonic philology with a specialization in Czech studies at the University of Sofia. In 1982 she spent six months as a student at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague, where her main interests were contemporary Czech language and Czech folklore. She has worked as a coordinator in the International Office of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, as an editor of books translated from the Czech, Slovak, Polish and Russian for the publishing house Narodna kultura, and as an editor of the book publications of the Faculty of Slavonic Philology of the University of Sofia, where she edited manuscripts in the field of Slavonic studies. Since 2003 she has been an associate professor of Czech literature and Slavonic literatures at the South-West University in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. She has translated many works of Czech fiction into Bulgarian, including works by Milan Kundera, Bohumil Hrabal, Karel Čapek, Jiří Kratochvil, Alexandra Berková, Vladimír Macura, Vladimír Neff and Zdeněk Zapletal.


FINLAND [*1970]
14. 5. | 16.00 | Literary Hall
14. 5. | 18.30 | Klub K4
15. 5. | 14.00 | Author's Hall
After studying German Philology, Media Communication and Theatre Studies at the University of Tampere, Maria Peura later graduated in Dramatury from the Department of Theatre. So far she has published three novels. Her debut work On rakkautes ääretön/Your Love is Infinite (2001), which addresses with great openness the taboo theme of incest and paedophilia, was shortlisted for the prestigious Finlandia Prize and the Olvi Foundation Award for young authors of great talent. In 2005 Maria Peura published the novel Valon reunalla/At the Edge of Light, in which the hero tells of the years of her adolescence in an inhospitable northern landscape in a raw, unembellished style which is also powerfully poetic. The English translation of this work (2007) was very well received, not least in Britain. Her third novel Vedenaliset/Under the Water, which appeared in 2008. In 2004 Maria Peura published a collection of nonsense verse for children called Mimmi Moun ilotaika/Mimi Mou’s Happy Magic.
[ photo Heini Lehväslaiho


SLOVAKIA [*1964]
13. 5. | 18.00 | Slovak Institute
14. 5. | 17.30 | stand L 501
14. 5. | 18.00 | Chamber Hall
Pavol Rankov is one of the leading Slovakian authors of today’s middle generation. He has published the collections of short stories S odstupom času/With the Benefit of Hindsight (1995), My a oni / Oni a my / Us and Them / Them and Us (2001) and V tesnej blízkosti/At Close Quarters (2004). In 1995 he was awarded the Ivan Krasko Prize and in 1997 the Ministry of Culture of Italy conferred on him the “Jean Monnet” Premio Letterario Internazionale. For the novel Stalo se prvního září/It Happened on 1st September Pavol Rankov was awarded the 2009 European Union Prize for Literature for Slovakia and the Readers’ Prize in the Anasoft Litera awards.
[ photo Peter Procházka


GERMANY [*1961]
14. 5. | 17.00 | Literary Cafe
Sven Regener has lived in Berlin since 1982. He is co-founder, singer and lyricist of Element of Crime, one of Germany’s most successful rock bands. His debut as a novelist came in 2001 with Herr Lehmann/Berlin. In Germany the book is a bestseller; it has been translated into many languages, and in 2003 it was made into a successful film. The further two parts in the trilogy, Neue Vahr Süd and Der kleine Bruder, were published in 2004 and 2008 respectively. photo Charlotte Goltermann
[ photo Charlotte Goltermann


GERMANY [*1965]
13. 5. | 19.30 | Café "Černá labuť"
14. 5. | 13.00 | Chamber Hall
Helena Reich was born in western Bohemia; she and her parents left for Germany when she was four years old. She studied Political Science, American Studies and History before working as a journalist for titles including “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, “The Prague Post”, “Vital” and “natur&kosmos”. Later Helena Reich became a classical homeopath. In 2008 she published her first crime novel Nasses Grab, which was followed a year later by Engelsfall, another novel set in Prague which will appear in a Czech translation in the autumn. photo Thomas Köhler
[ photo Thomas Köhler


AUSTRIA [*1982]
15. 5. | 13.00 | Literary Cafe
Clemens Setz comes from Graz, the city in which he studied German and Mathematics from 2001. On the publication of his debut Söhne und Planeten / Sons and Planets (2007), his was declared a bright new voice in Austrian literature. He will read in Prague from his 2009 novel Die Frequenzen/Frequencies, which was shortlisted for the 2009 German Book Prize even though it perplexed the critics, who praised the author for his playful handling of the story and his literary use of language while criticizing him for a lack of focus and discipline.
[ photo Lukas Beck, Wien


14. 5. | 11.00 | stand L 413
Martina Skala was born in the Lesser Side quarter of Prague. She is a graduate in history and stage design. Her Parisian Eighties are closely associated with her work in film and in particular the names of production designer Pierre Guffroy and the directors Roman Polanski, Miloš Forman and Henri Verneuil. Her American Nineties through to the present are associated mainly with book illustration, the authoring of children’s books and the creation of her own art. The Strado & Varius series of books, of which Martina Skala is author, won many awards in 2002 (Golden Ribband, Suk, Magnesia Litera, and third place in the “Literature for Children and Young People” category of the Most Beautiful Czech Books of the Year) and 2004 (White Raven). A book by Magdaléna Wagnerová called Hlupýš with illustrations by Martina Skala was published by Mladá fronta in 2009.
[ photo author archive


AUSTRIA [*1933]
15. 5. | 16.00 | Literary Cafe
Ceija Stojka is from a family of nomadic Roma of the Lovari caste. In the years of National Socialism the entire Stojka family was interned in various concentration camps. In 1941 eight-year-old Ceija was deported along with her mother and siblings to Auschwitz-Birkenau and from there to other Nazi camps, where most of her relatives were murdered. Having survived the war Ceija returned to Vienna, where she still lives and works today. As well as being a writer Ceija Stojka is a visual artist whose work has been the subject of exhibitions since the early 1990s. On its publication in Austria in 1988, Ceija Stojka’s life story caused a great commotion in the German-speaking countries.
[ photo RKF


POLAND [*1966]
15. 5. | 13.00 | stand L 108
Mariusz Szczygieł works for the Warsaw newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and is a founding member of the Polish Institute of Reportage and its school. Gottland, his book about recent Czech history, became a bestseller in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Europe. It has been translated into German, French, Italian and Russian, and editions in other languages are in preparation. Szczygieł has received for it many prestigious booksellers’, journalists’, readers’ and reporters’ awards at home and abroad. In October 2009 he received the Gratias Agit Prize of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic for the dissemination abroad of the good name of the Czech Republic. In December in Brussels Gottland was declared European Book of the Year. photo Liesbeth Kuipers
[ photo Liesbeth Kuipers


14. 5. | 11.30 | Author's Hall
14. 5. | 12.30 | stand L 607
Belgian writer Annelies Verbeke graduated in Germanic Languages and Literature from the University of Ghent, after which she completed a course in Scriptwriting in Brussels. Besides the extraordinarily successful debut novel Slaap! (Sleep), published in Czech in spring 2010, she is the author of several screenplays that have won a range of awards either in their own right or as part of films of which they form the basis. The novel has won numerous literary and cultural prizes and has been filmed. photo Liesbeth Kuipers 
[ photo Liesbeth Kuipers


15. 5. | 11.00 | Great Hall
15. 5. | 12.00 | stand L 408
15. 5. | 14.00 | Author's Hall
Sarah Waters is one of Britain’s best-known authors today, both in the UK and abroad. She wanted originally to become an archaeologist, but having studied English literature at university and inspired by the dissertation she wrote on Victorian pornography, she began to write novels. For the first three novels – Tipping the Velvet (1998), Affinity (1999) and Fingersmith (2002; published in Czech), all of which are set in Victorian England – the author makes exhaustive use of her research. Her fourth novel The Night Watch (2006) is set in the 1940s in war-time and post-war London. Sarah Waters’s latest novel The Little Stranger (2009; published in Czech) is set in the immediate post-World War II period and its central figure is a ramshackle, haunted house in the English countryside. Each of Sarah Waters’s novels has either won or been shortlisted for various literary awards. The name of a woman who so much wanted to be immortalized in a modern classic, appears in The Night Watch.
[ photo archive LAF


AUSTRIA [*1953]
14. 5. | 15.00 | Literary Cafe
Josef Winkler is winner of the 2008 Georg Büchner Prize, the most prestigious prize for literature written in German. At the book fair he will read from his books Roppongi (2007) and Ich reiß mir eine Wimper aus und stech dich damit tot/I Pull Out an Eyelash and Stab You to Death with It (2008). In a section of the mysteriously-titled Roppongi called “Tokyo”, Josef Winkler describes how he came to terms with the death of his father, news of which reached him during a long stay in the Japanese metropolis, and he looks back on their difficult relationship. photo Jerry Bauer / Suhrkamp Verlag
[ photo Jerry Bauer / Suhrkamp Verlag


LATVIA [*1941]
14. 5. | 13.00 | pavilion „Bookworld for children“ (cinema)
He has worked in many different jobs. After Latvia regained its independence he worked as an editor for various publishing houses, and he is now a freelance writer and journalist. Juris Zvirgzdinš became a man of letters in 1982. He has written stage plays, short stories and essays. His writings have been translated into Russian, English, Italian and Lithuanian. Most of his writing is for children – in 2000 his children’s adventure novel Once Upon a Time in Kurzeme won a prize for the best original literary work for children as well as the 2001 Benjamin Prize; the following year the author won the same award for his children’s novel The Return of the Beavers. His best-known character remains his loyal and inseparable companion Tobias, a small teddy bear who is the hero of the books Tobiass’ Mischief Stories, Tobiass Goes Out Into the World and Knorke! or Tobiass and Fufu go Searching for Mozart.
[ photo author archive