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Markéta Pilátová

Markéta Pilátová

area: Literature

Key Facts

nationality

Czech Republic

area

Literature

residence

Velké Losiny

recommending institution

BMEIA

time period

June 2021 - July 2021

Writer, journalist, author of children’s books, translator and Hispanic expert, she has twice been nominated for the Josef Škvorecký Award and for the Magnesia Litera, her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and into the other six languages. She was born in Kroměříž on 1 February 1973.

She studied Latin, Romance studies and history at Palacký University’s Faculty of Arts in Olomouc, where she subsequently worked as a lecturer. She was in charge of the foreign section of the weekly magazine Respekt. She alternates between living in the Czech Republic and in South America (Argentina, Brazil), where she teaches Czech to the descendants of Czech emigrants.

Her debut novel Žluté oči vedou domů (The Yellow Eyes Will Lead You Home) was published in 2007 by Torst, and is the story of four women and one man, who alternate as narrators. At a central stage in the women’s lives appears the charismatic Jaromír, who will leave an indelible mark on their lives. Here the setting is Pilatová’s community of Brazilian emigrants – the parents have cut off their roots, but due to the fall of communism their children have the possibility to choose the direction of their lives. Two years later Torst published Pílatová’s Má nejmilejší kniha (My Most Beloved Book). Once again this extensive saga combines narrative voices, but this is augmented by its construction: we hear the the views of the tattooist and Hare the snake, which lends a magical feel to this Argentinian setting filled with drug lords, snake venom, slums and jungles. Markéta Pilátová was nominated for the Magnesia Litera and the Josef Škvorecký Award for both of these books.

Five years later Pilátová wrote her third novel for adults, Tsunami Blues, again published by Torst. It takes place alternately in the Czech Republic, in Thailand during a tsunami and in Cuba. “The dirty sound from the trumpet is not down to the embouchure, or the tone, or the colour, nothing like that. You only get dirty from great things. From the blue Cuban sky and your own fear,” says one of the main characters. There is a central trio – the trumpeter Karla, her music teacher and Professor Jenůfa Topinková.

As well as prose, Pilátová has also written poetry, Zatýkání větru (Capturing the Wind, Větrné mlýny, 2011), and children’s stories. She received acclaim for Víla Vivivíla a stíny zvířat (Víla Vivivíla and the Animal Shadows, NLN, 2009), Kiko a tajemství papírového motýla (Kiko and the Secret of the Paper Butterfly, NLN, 2010) and Gorilí táta (The Gorilla’s Dad, Novela Bohemica, 2013). She is also the author of the children’s stories Jura a lama (Jura and Lama, LePress, 2012) about a boy who has two mothers. She writes for several national periodicals including Salon Právo, Respekt, Lidové noviny and Czech Radio. She also translates from Spanish and Portuguese.

Project info

For the first month, I would like to work on a book of short stories “The last flea circus”, some of which will take place in Vienna, Leipzig and Berlin.

The second month I would like to write a novel “Nests” about the German-Czech community in Brazil.

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