Bohumil Hrabal

Bohumil Hrabal (1914–’97) was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, and spent decades working at a variety of laboring jobs before turning to writing in his late 40s. From that point, he quickly made his mark on the Czech literary scene; by the time of his death he was ranked with Jaroslav Hašek, Karel Capek, and Milan Kundera as among the nation’s greatest 20th-century writers. Hrabal’s fiction blends tragedy with humor and explores the anguish of intellectuals and ordinary people alike from a slightly surreal perspective. His work ranges from novels and poems to film scripts and essays.