Marek Šindelka

Marek Šindelka

Poet and prose writer, winner of the Jiří Orten Prize (2006) and the Magnesia Litera for prose (2012). His books have been published in Dutch, Polish, Hungarian and Bulgarian. He was born in Polička in 1984.


Title Publisher Year Selected published translations Awards
A Map of Anna (Mapa Anny) Odeon 2014 NL
Stay Tuned (Zůstaňte s námi) Odeon 2011 PL | BG | NL  2012 Magnesia Litera – Prose
The Mistake (Chyba) Lipnik 2011
The Mistake (Chyba) Pistorius & Olšanská 2008 BG | HU
Strychnine and Other Poems (Strychnin a jiné básně) Paseka 2005  2006 Jiří Orten Award
A Map of Anna
Mapa Anny
Stay Tuned
Zůstaňte s námi
Strychnin a jiné básně
Strychnine and Other Poems
Strychnin a jiné básně
Award Year Country
Magnesia Litera – Prose 2012 Tschechien
Jiří Orten Award 2006 Česká republika
Praise
Hats off for this intelligently written and elaborate book, bringing together ten well-chosen texts which undoubtedly deserve to be called short stories. In it Marek Šindelka demonstrates that this prose form does not have to be – as many writers mistakenly believe – only a skilfully related record of an entertaining anecdote from life, but also a distinctive form of literary thinking and a linguistically refined testimony.
—Pavel Janoušek
Tvar

He graduated in cultural studies from the Arts Faculty of Charles University. He made his debut with the collection Strychnin a jiné básně (Strychnine and Other Poems, Paseka, 2005), for which he was awarded the Jiří Orten Award. On iLiteratura, Richard Klíčník describes the book thus: “The poetic debut Strychnine and Other Poems is a contemplative reflection on the thinking of the young. Šindelka attempts to thoroughly reflect upon experiences from his personal life, which has been very eventful for his age. Strychnine, the titular poem of the collection, is also the most intimate confession which we find in the book. In it the young author tries to come to terms not only with the problems which are troubling his brother, but also with himself. Throughout the collection he is searching for himself.”

This was followed by Chyba (The Mistake, Pistorius & Olšanská, 2008). “For a person with a poetic vision the transition to prose tends to be difficult and presents numerous pitfalls. However, with The Mistake it can be said that the promising poet has become a prose writer for the young generation who is truly worthy of the name,” writes critic Petr Vaněk. The tale of flower smuggler Kryštof is based on the hysteria surrounding the plant called giant hogweed, which mothers warned their children about in the nineties – the main character was also warned in this way, but then his fear of the plant passed over into his exaggerated ideas about it and subsequently also into his choice of profession. Šindelka’s story was used as the basis for the comic Chyba in an illustrated version by Vojtěch Mašek (Lipnik, 2011).

The short stories Zůstaňte s námi (Stay Tuned, Odeon, 2011) impressed the critics and won the Magnesia Litera for prose (2012). Vojtěch Staněk evaluates it in the magazine A2 thus: “The short stories from the book Stay Tuned repeat the single – or more precisely dual – motif of loneliness and a crisis of communication. Throughout the book these themes complement, offer a variation on or hold up a contrasting mirror to each other, and the texts also captivate the reader through the method of storytelling, the use of language. Šindelka places a great deal of importance on the rhythm with which the story unfolds.”

Mapa Anny (A Map of Anna, Odeon, 2014) adds another eight short works of prose to two stories published in magazines. Once again the common denominators here are relationships and the heroine Anna. “We observe her lit up from all sort of angles; her world is slowly plotted out for the reader like a map. Hence the title. And like all maps, the Map of Anna is inaccurate too: it never manages to capture reality whole, it always involves a certain simplification, a certain scale. It is as imperfect as the human memory, which tells us the story of our life again and again, and yet differently every time. There will never be a map on a scale of one to one. Real life has no story. Only an infinite number of fragments which are formed into ever new patterns in the crazy kaleidoscope of our short lives,” said the author in an interview for Kosmas.cz.

Notable awards
 2012 Magnesia Litera – Prose
 2006 Jiří Orten Award
Foreign rights
Pluh
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