Vita Nuova

Trade Paper – $19.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2546-9
Publication Date
May 2010
Page Count
248 pages
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5

Vita Nuova

A Novel

Vita Nuova is the second in a trilogy of memoirs written from the perspective

of Bohumil Hrabal’s wife, Elis.ka, about their life in Prague

from the 1950s to the 1970s, when Communist repression of artists was

at its peak.


Hrabal’s inimitable humor, which in Elis.ka’s ruminations ranges

from bawdy slapstick to cutting irony, is all the more penetrating for

being directed at himself. Vita Nuova showcases Hrabal’s legendary

bohemian intellectual life, particularly his relationship with Vladimír

Boudník. Hrabal creates a shrewd, lively portrait of Eastern European

intellectual life in the mid-twentieth century.

About the Author

Bohumil hrabal (1914–97) is considered, along with Karel C.apek and Milan Kundera,

to be one of the great Czech writers of the twentieth century. He won international

acclaim for the novels Closely Watched Trains (Northwestern, 1995), Too Loud a Solitude

(1992), and I Served the King of England (1989).


Tony Liman was born in Czechoslovakia in 1966 and grew up in Toronto. He received

his M.F.A. from the University of British Columbia. He is a writer and translator, and

his fiction has appeared in several Canadian literary journals. Liman lives in Vancouver,

British Columbia.


“That trilogy of mine has to thank for its style and its content Mrs. tolstoy and Mrs. Dostoevsky,

whose biographies about their husbands have now been published in Prague, and in these

books, they praise their husbands so much that I told myself to write my autobiography through

the prism of my wife’s view . . .” —Bohumil hrabal

"Hrabal, both as character in and author of Vita Nuova, seeks epiphanies in disorder, and intimations of the infinite in weakness and the grotesque. His metaphysics of the ordinary finds in the corrupted, chance-afflicted world flashes of beauty and transcendence: pearls in the mud. [Vita Nuova] is a refusal of artistic “normalization”…a lively emulation of the ars prosaica of a great Czech writer of the twentieth century." —The Times Literary Supplement