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Tomáš Zmeškal

Tomáš Zmeškal studied English language and literature, works as writer, translator and professor in Prague. His debut novel, Milostný dopis klínovým písmem (Love letter in Cuneiform Script), published in autumn 2008, was an immediate success. The book is an unusal kind of love story with a broad historical sweep, covering the post-war period to the 1990s, and has a very innovative stylistic approach. After almost unbelievably positive reviews it sold out at once and went into a second edition. For this novel he was shortlisted for the Magnesia Litera Prize 2009, and the same year he was awarded the prestigious Josef Škvorecký Award. His second book, Životopis černobílého jehněte (The Biography of the Black and White Lamb), was published in October 2009 and deals with the life of mixed race twins, growing up in (then) Czechoslovakia under Communist era from the 1960s till the 1990s. The novel deals with the painful times of Communism and with the particular Czech responses to the communist morality and “multiculturalism”. The book divided the Czech critical community; the critical responses mirror the Czech views about their recent historical experience. It is the first book in Czech language, which deals with the personal experience of black people in the times of Communism in Eastern Europe. At the moment Zmeškal is working on his third book. More info: www.tomaszmeskal.cz.