Škvorecký, Josef

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Škvorecký, Josef

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1924-2012

History

Josef Škvorecký was born in 1924 in Nachod, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia. He received his PhD in philosophy from Charles University in Prague in 1951. His earliest works, including The Cowards (1958) and the End of the Nylon Age (1956) were banned by communist censors. He published novels, short stories and film scripts between 1963 and 1968, during a shift to more liberal political climate. After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Škvorecký and his wife, Zdena Salivarová emigrated to Canada in 1969. Together with his wife, he ran 68 Publishers, which published, in both Czech and English translations, books that we banned in Communist Czechoslovakia. By the fall of the Soviet Union, 68 published had published over 220 works. Skvorecky published many books, including novels, poetry, non-fiction, as well as for film and television, among them The Engineer of Human Souls (1984), which received the Governor General’s Award for fiction. Škvorecký was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, and was awarded the Order of the White Lion in the Czech Republic in 1990. Josef Škvorecký died in 2012.

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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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