Jaroslav Rudiš

Jaroslav Rudiš

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.


Title Publisher Year Selected published translations Awards
National Avenue (Národní třída) Labyrint 2013 HU | FR | ES | PL | DE
The Sky Under Berlin (audiobook) (Nebe pod Berlínem (audiokniha)) Tympanum 2010
The End of Punk in Helsinki (Konec punku v Helsinkách) Labyrint 2010 NL | DE | PL | FI | FR
Alois Nebel: On the Line (Na trati (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)) Labyrint 2008
Alois Nebel: On the Line (Alois Nebel) Labyrint 2008 DE | DE
The Sky Under Berlin (Nebe pod Berlínem) Labyrint 2007 SV | IT | PL | DE
Quietly (audiobook) (Potichu (audiokniha)) Tympanum 2007
Quietly (Potichu) Labyrint 2007 PL | DE
Alois Nebel (Alois Nebel) Labyrint 2006 FR | DE
Summer in Lapland (Léto v Laponsku) Labyrint 2006
Grandhotel (Grandhotel) Labyrint 2006 PL | DE  2007 Magnesia Litera – Readers’ award
Summer in Lapland (Léto v Laponsku (s P. Pýchou)) Labyrint 2006
Golden Hills (Zlaté hory (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)) Labyrint 2005
Main Station (Hlavní nádraží (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)) Labyrint 2004
The Sky Under Berlin (Nebe pod Berlínem) Labyrint 2003 SV | IT | PL | DE  2002 Jiří Orten Award
White Brook (Bílý potok (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)) Labyrint 2003
The Sky Under Berlin (Nebe pod Berlínem) Labyrint 2002 SV | IT | PL | DE  2002 Jiří Orten Award
National Avenue
Národní třída
Nebe pod Berlínem (audiokniha)
The Sky Under Berlin (audiobook)
Nebe pod Berlínem (audiokniha)
The End of Punk in Helsinki
Konec punku v Helsinkách
Na trati (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)
Alois Nebel: On the Line
Na trati (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)
Alois Nebel
Alois Nebel: On the Line
Alois Nebel
The Sky Under Berlin
Nebe pod Berlínem
Potichu (audiokniha)
Quietly (audiobook)
Potichu (audiokniha)
Potichu
Quietly
Potichu
Alois Nebel
Alois Nebel
Alois Nebel
Léto v Laponsku
Summer in Lapland
Léto v Laponsku
Grandhotel
Grandhotel
Léto v Laponsku (s P. Pýchou)
Summer in Lapland
Léto v Laponsku (s P. Pýchou)
Zlaté hory (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)
Golden Hills
Zlaté hory (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)
Hlavní nádraží (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)
Main Station
Hlavní nádraží (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)
The Sky Under Berlin
Nebe pod Berlínem
Bílý potok (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)
White Brook
Bílý potok (Alois Nebel) (s J. Švejdíkem)
The Sky Under Berlin
Nebe pod Berlínem
Award Year Country
Usedom Prize for Literature 2013 Deutschland
Magnesia Litera – Readers' award 2007 Česká republika
Jiří Orten Award 2002 Česká republika
Praise
National Avenue is an unrestrained, funny, brash, melancholic and brutal novel. […] Jaroslav Rudiš has written an excellent novel, which would also be perfect for a theatre adaptation.
—Lerke von Saalfeld
Deutschlandfunk

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.”

Notable awards
 2007 Magnesia Litera – Readers’ award
 2002 Jiří Orten Award