Composer, musician, artist, photographer, writer. He was born in Prague on 26 April 1950. His books have been translated into German, French and Polish.
He published his work in samizdat form and after signing Charter 77 he was forced to emigrate as a consequence of the State Security’s brutal interrogations; he lived in Sweden, Holland and Germany, and after the Velvet Revolution he returned to his homeland – he experienced the events of November 1989 from the United States of America, and later reflected on this in his novel Klíč je pod rohožkou (The Key is under the Mat).
He began as an author of short stories, with the anthology Jak to vidím já (As I See It) being published by the exile publishing house Index in Cologne. This was followed by collections which were similar in tone, Babylon (Cologne, Index, 1982, in the Czech Republic by Práce, 1994) and Bermudský trojúhelník (Bermuda Triangle, Cologne, Index, 1986), and an anthology of song lyrics, Plonková sedmička (The Plonková Seven, Munich, 1983).
The novella A ostružinou pobíd‘ koně (And Slaughter the Horse with Blackberries, Munich, 1988, in the Czech Republic by Pražská imaginace, 1993) tends to be compared with texts by Bohumil Hrabal; here Třešňák demonstrates his sensitivity for language and its nuances. The book would later become the basis of the novel Evangelium a ostružina (The Gospel and the Blackberry, Torst, 1999). The basis for the second part of the novel is absurdly fantastical: the editor of the daily newspaper the Karlín Herald Tribjůn has the task of writing a report about the Jerusalem group The Apostels Revival Band; however, when writing it he must not use the syllable “chu”, which has been banned by the censors. However, the magic of Třešňák’s books depends not so much on the story as on the sound of the words and the impression they make, on their formation into neologisms and original usage. Třešňák’s collection of three short stories To nejdůležitější o panu Moritzovi (The Most Important Things About Mr Moritz, Köln, Index, 1989) was published in Cologne just before the revolution, and this was followed by the publication of previous samizdat texts in newly emerging publishing houses.
Třešňák went to work on the novel Klíč je pod rohožkou (Torst, 1995), which is considered a milestone in his work – it describes not only Czechoslovakian totalitarianism of the 1950s – 70s and leading dissidents, including the future president Václav Havel, but also the year 1989 as seen from a distance from the author’s exile in the United States and the return to his homeland. Here the motif of keys is very conspicuous; on one level there is the exchange of keys between the main character, Mr Praga, and his friend, Robert, after emigrating to Sweden, and gradually they pass on keys to other flats in this way on their journey to the south of Europe. However, the key also symbolizes homecoming – and the jingling of keys during demonstrations is one of the major symbols of the Velvet Revolution.
This was followed by a set of nine short stories, U jídla se nemluví (We Don’t Speak at the Dinner Table, Torst, 1996), and the completion and expansion of the collection of texts and poems Plonková sedmička (Torst, 1997). The novel Domácí hosté (House Guests, Torst, 2000) criticizes Czech narrow-mindedness and xenophobia by examining the life of a contemporary Czech village. The novel Melouch (Moonlighting, Torst, 2005) is set in the Karlín area of Prague in the sixties, where some friends start a rock band – a parallel to this is formed by the modern world of Czech show business.
Třešňák is also the author of the “hemp tales” The Vole – hraboš hrdina (The Vole the Hero, Galén, 2012); however, with their absurd sense of humour they are aimed more at adults than at children.