Novelist, author of stage and radio plays, author of scripts for comic books. Winner of the Jiří Orten Award (2002), the Alfréd Radok Award and the Czech Radio Prize, and nominated for a Magnesia Litera. His books have been translated into many languages including German, Spanish, French, Italian and Dutch. He was born in Turnov on 8 June 1972.
He graduated in German and history and had a number of different jobs; while staying in Germany he wrote his debut work Nebe pod Berlínem (The Sky Under Berlin, Labyrint, 2002). This was unexpectedly well received, and the critics described Rudiš as a punk Bohumil Hrabal. These rock stories from the Berlin metro are told by a teacher who has emigrated to Berlin and is making his living by playing the guitar in the underground. Special characters in the story are the spirits of people who were run over in the metro.
This was followed by a comic-book trilogy which Rudiš wrote together with the artist Jaromír Švejdík, entitled Alois Nebel (Labyrint, 2003, 2004, 2005). Not only was this a hit with readers and critics, but it was also adapted for the theatre and for a 2011 film by Tomáš Luňák. The comic book recounts the story of the twentieth century through the twists and turns of the life of a railwayman from the Sudetenland.
This was followed by the stage play Léto v Laponsku (Summer in Lapland, Labyrint, 2006) and a novel published in the same year, Grandhotel (Labyrint, 2006), about the oddball Fleischman, an amateur meteorologist who works in the Grandhotel on the summit of Ještěd. His lifelong autistic preoccupation, or rather obsession, is watching clouds and keeping detailed records of them. Another of his obsessions is his platonic affection for a TV weather girl. To Fleischman the region of Liberec, which he has never set foot outside of in his life, is both a home and a prison. His problematic relationship with his stepfather and his enthusiasm for the Liberec football club drive the plot forward.
The novel Potichu (Quietly, Labyrint, 2007) wasn’t successful in the Czech Republic but its translation (2012) was very well received in Germany. An enthusiastic reception awaited the novel Konec punku v Helsinkách (The End of Punk in Helsinki, Labyrint, 2010). Here the author turned serious and tended towards melancholy, which is emitted both by the former punk who now runs the Helsinki bar in Leipzig, Germany, and by the second strand of the story, which is narrated by a girl called Nancy from Jeseník. As Pavel Mandys writes in a review on iLiteratura, “The End of Punk in Helsinki is without a doubt Rudiš’s best novel […]. If the author ran out of the entertaining and sad stories with which he dazzled his audience in The Sky Under Berlin and Grandhotel and which made him the youngest, “punk-rock” heir to Hrabal, he has now found a new position: he comments melancholically and sarcastically on the disillusionment of an ageing punk, but he frames the insights, lively dialogue and curious characters within a solid plot with the turbulent fortunes of the protagonists and with a wider scope.”
Rudiš’s latest book is the novella Národní třída (National Avenue, Labyrint, 2013), which was based on his original stage play written for Divadlo Feste. Its hero is one of life’s losers, Vandam, a brawler from a prefab block of flats, reared by the housing estate and its pubs. As Klára Kubíčková writes in MF Dnes, “When reading the book one experiences two extreme feelings: disgust and enthusiasm. The first is caused by the value system of the main character, his lifestyle and the space in which the plot of the novella is set. The second by the brilliance with which Rudiš captures it, the documentary-like way in which he described the wretchedness.”