Josef Škvorecký

1924 (Náchod, Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic) – 2012 (Toronto)

One of the leading Czech writers of the post-war age, innovative in his prose, Škvorecký is as important for sacrificing his own career to make the works of dissident Czech writers available internationally. He was a prodigious letter-writer — Greene and Sontag were among his correspondents. He met Hrabal having joined Kolář’s underground circle, visited Holan, and had an amusing exchange of letters with Waugh (whom he admired) about mistranslated capitalist food. Among friends, he and Forman were banned from making a film, while the grateful Havel gave him the Order of the White Lion. Greene compared him to Chekhov.

Josef Škvorecký knew…