Michal Viewegh
Dodgeball

translated by David Short

cover art by Jan Pražan
cover and book design by Bedřich Vémola

published in May 2018

248 pp, paperback
ISBN 978-80-906428-9-8

Summary

Over a generous time span, this book follows the varied lives of several high-school classmates, from their teenage growing pains to their early forties. Connoisseurs of the work of the current most popular Czech author will find intact his familiar style (the slightly melancholic grotesque), in a tale which describes, with irony and delicate nostalgia, friendship, teenage confusion, love and destiny, including dreams and hopes, first loves and marriage, disappointment and disillusion, failure and personal tragedy, not to mention the impact on life of alcohol, beauty and ugliness, and above all the sadness that slowly penetrates the lives of the characters as they age.

More about the book

Dodgeball is one of its author’s most successful novels, whether in terms of numbers of copies sold or the responses of critics, including some from abroad, or readers. Over 200,000 copies have been sold in the Czech Republic alone, and it has already become available in twelve other languages, including German, Spanish, Italian and Russian. It has won the Magnesia Litera Readers’ Prize and in 2015 it was turned into a successful feature film under the same title.

Following Bringing up Girls in Bohemia and Bliss was it in Bohemia, this is the third of the author’s novels to appear in English translation.

“It is high time the successor to Milan Kundera’s throne was declared —and it can be no other than Michal Viewegh. Viewegh achieves 
a symbiosis of the substantial, the important and the entertaining. His books are intelligent yet easy to read; they are comprehensive, yet simple. Unlike Kundera, he takes great pleasure in experimenting with different forms of narration. None of his books is the same 
as any other, but his fans will always find the things they hold dear.”
Thomas Brussig, Der Spiegel

“There are authors of bestsellers who seek to entertain and others who write with finesse. Beginning with Dodgeball, Viewegh has shown that he is one of the latter. (…) Up until now, Michal Viewegh has never produced anything of such quality.”
Radek Knapp, Der Standard

About the author

Michal Viewegh (born 1962) is a novelist, short story writer, newspaper columnist, author of books for children and playwright. His 30 books have appeared in 24 languages and been turned into 10 feature films. Recipient of the Jiří Orten prize and the Magnesia Litera prize, he remains the 
Czech Republic’s most popular writer. About 2 million copies of his books have been sold in the Czech Republic alone.

Selected bibliography

Báječná léta pod psa—Bliss was it in Bohemia (1992)
Výchova dívek v Čechách—Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia (1994)
Účastníci zájezdu—Tourists on an Excursion (1996)
Povídky o manželství a o sexu—Tales of Marriage and Sex (1999)
Román pro ženy—A Women’s Novel (2001)
Vybíjená—Dodgeball (2004)
Andělé všedního dne—Everyday Angels (2007)
Krátké pohádky pro unavené rodiče—Short Bedtime Stories for Tired Parents (2007)
Román pro muže—A Men’s Novel (2008)
Povídky o lásce—Tales of Love (2009)
Mafie v Praze—The Mafia in Prague (2011)
Můj život po životě—My Life after Life (2013)

About the translator

David Short graduated with a BA in Russian with French from the University of Birmingham in 1965 and spent the period between 1966 and 1972 in Prague, studying Czech and Slovak language and linguistics and doing some occasional translation work. He then taught Czech and Slovak at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London from 1973 to 2011, during which he also published fairly widely on the languages and their literature. He is the author of the popular Teach Yourself Czech; that textbook has undergone a couple of renamings and has also been translated into Polish and German.

He has translated numerous literary and non-literary texts from Czech and has won several awards for his translation work and for work on Czech lexicography. In 2004, he was awarded the Czech Ministry of Culture’s Artis Bohemicae Amicis medal and the Medal of the Comenius University in Bratislava.

He has since been awarded the 2018 Jiří Theiner Prize for his contribution to the dissemination of Czech literature and culture abroad.

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