An extraordinary mono-thematic collection by the most respected contemporary Czech poet.
Petr Hruška has been publishing collections of poems for 20 years and throughout that time, they have all contained a noticeable motif of a character inspired by his stepson, Adam. Hruška selected these poems, added new ones and compiled a collection. A man “on the periphery”, who is not and cannot be part of our world in its current form, and yet has been yearning for it, takes centre stage in this collection. A tall, old for his age child, as a symbol of our tragicomic, obstinate and always vain efforts to succeed, is a bitter metaphor as well as a central point of these poems.
“Remarkable: what happens here in fewer than 40 texts happens in some novels.”
—Ondřej Lipár, Hospodářské noviny
“Not My Own is a serious collection, a text with a chilling awareness of reality. It is true darkness, a deep black, as is written in one poem. Despite this, the message conveyed by Hruška in Not My Own isn’t a tragic message.”
—Adéla Rozbořilová, Literární noviny
About the author
Petr Hruška (b. 1964) is a leading Czech poet and literary scholar. He was born and lives in Ostrava, where he regularly organises reading nights in the Les absinth club. He works for the Czech Literature Institute of the Academy of Sciences as an expert in post-1945 Czech poetry. He taught Czech literature in turns at Masaryk University in Brno and at the University of Ostrava. He is the author of many collections of poems published since 1995. In 1998, he was awarded the Czech-German Dresden Lyrics Prize and in 2009 the Jan Skácel Prize, which once every three years is awarded to the author of an outstanding Czech work of poetry which builds on the best tradition and spirit of Moravian poetry. In 2013, he won the highest Czech literary award, the State Prize for Literature, for his collection Darmata (Petty Tragedies, 2012). His poems have been translated into many European languages and books of his selected poems have been published in Germany, Poland, Italy, Hungary and Slovenia.