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Ivan Klima

Author of Love and Garbage

44+ Works 1,934 Members 27 Reviews 5 Favorited

About the Author

Author and playwright Ivan Klima was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1931. In 1968, he acted as an editor for the journal of the Czech Writer's Union. Following that, he was briefly a professor at the University of Michigan before returning to his homeland in 1970. His works, which include The show more Spirit of Prague, a collection of essays, were banned in Czechoslovakia until 1989. They address issues such as totalitarianism and intellectual freedom, which Klima also lectures on. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Ivan Klima

Love and Garbage (1986) 403 copies
Judge On Trial (1990) 184 copies
My golden trades (1992) 142 copies
The Spirit of Prague (1994) 134 copies
No Saints or Angels (1999) 132 copies
My First Loves (1985) 121 copies
The Ultimate Intimacy (1997) 112 copies
My Merry Mornings (1979) 102 copies
A Summer Affair (1973) 87 copies
My Crazy Century: A Memoir (2009) 34 copies
Karel Čapek: Life and Work (2001) 23 copies
Eiland van de dode koningen (1992) 10 copies

Associated Works

War with the Newts (1936) — Introduction, some editions — 1,969 copies
R.U.R. (1921) — Introduction, some editions — 993 copies
Granta 77: What We Think of America (2002) — Contributor — 217 copies
Granta 30: New Europe (1990) — Contributor — 146 copies
Granta 59: France the Outsider (1997) — Contributor — 144 copies
Granta 47: Losers (1994) — Contributor — 128 copies
Granta 44: The Last Place on Earth (1993) — Contributor — 124 copies
Granta 38: We're So Happy! (1991) — Contributor — 113 copies
Solo: Writers on Pilgrimage (2004) — Contributor — 11 copies


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Common Knowledge

Czech Republic
Country (for map)
Czech Republic
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Places of residence
Prague, Czechoslovakia (birth ∙ now Czech Republic)
Theresienstadt concentration camp
short story writer
Holocaust survivor
Awards and honors
Franz Kafka Prize (2002)
Short biography
Ivan Klíma (Praag, 14 december 1931) verbleef tijdens de tweede wereldoorlog in het concentratiekamp Theresiënstadt. In de jaren vijftig studeerde hij Tsjechische taal- en letterkunde en begon in 1959 met het schrijven van prozawerken en toneelstukken. Hij maakte deel uit van de redactie van het literaire weekblad Literární noviny en trad op de voorgrond tijdens de Praagse Lente. Na de inval van 1968 door Warschautroepen kreeg hij een publicatieverbod: gedurende twintig jaar kon zijn werk uitsluitend in het buitenland verschijnen. Klíma zelf schreef hierover: ‘Ik ben een Tsjech. Dit is mijn land. Ik zal misschien jaren van mijn leven schrijven voor de bureaulade en mijn geld verdienen als straatveger, maar ik moet doen wat ik kan.’ Sinds de fluwelen revolutie van 1989 publiceert hij als nooit tevoren.



So very... czech. A nice visit to my old friends.
Kiramke | 3 other reviews | Jun 27, 2023 |
In 1945 the Russians liberated Czechoslovakia from the Germans. In 1968 the Russian tanks entered the country again, bringing to an end the Prague Spring.
Klima wrote this book in 1978. The artists and intellectuals who joined committees, signed petitions and wrote the truth in 1968 have finished their prison sentences and are working as labourers.

In 1968 Adam Kindle had been in America, so he had avoided the political errors of his friends. As a judge and party member he follows instructions; he jails innocent people who have been denounced by party hacks. To do otherwise would be to risk being prosecuted himself.

Adam's principles adapt themselves to party policies; an exception is his opposition to the death penalty. He is given a murder case to try and instructed to find the accused guilty and demand his execution. Adam's marriage has disintegrated; he is being threatened by party functionaries; he is under investigation and every detail of his private life is known.

Sections headed "Before we drink from the waters of Lethe", trace Adam's life from childhood to the present, showing how he became the man he is now.

This is a chilling account of totalitarianism in Czechoslovakia.
… (more)
pamelad | Apr 18, 2022 |
This is the first Klima novel I've read. I enjoyed it on the whole - it never felt like a chore to get through, although there were times when it seemed to spin on its axis a little and I skimmed the occasional paragraph here and there. To discuss the plot would be to spoil it, so I'll leave it at that. If you're looking for another Milan Kundera out of the Czech Republic then maybe there's something for you here, but this is a far cry from 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being.'
soylentgreen23 | 1 other review | Aug 16, 2019 |
My wife bought this one in London, read it and passed it graciously to me for the trip home.
jonfaith | 3 other reviews | Feb 22, 2019 |



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