Petr Král wins Czech State Award for Literature

Král received the award for his collection of essays, Treasons (Vlastizrady), and for his work published in emigration.


Petr Král. Photo: Wikpedia – HTO.

Petr Král. Photo: Wikpedia – HTO.

Král is a poet, novelist, essayist, film theoretician, translator and Commander of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He emigrated to France in 1968 where he worked as a teacher, photo-laboratory worker, interpreter and assistant editor at Gallimard publishers, before going on to study film. He returned permanently to Prague in 2006. Three of his books have been published in English by Pushkin Press — Loving Venice, In Search of the Essence of Place and Working Knowledge.

Treasons is a 1396-page collection of critical articles and essays by Petr Král, which introduces the reader to an extensive yet relatively unknown and underappreciated part of the author’s work. The book is exceptional not only for its scope but also for the variety of its content, including texts about literature, painting, film, photography, jazz and even gastronomy.

The award was presented to Král on 24th October during a ceremony at the New Scene of the National Theatre in Prague. The State Award for Translation was presented to Pavel Dominik during the same event.

Established in 1995, the State Award for Literature is given for an original Czech literary work or for an author’s body of work. The winner is decided by a jury selected by the Czech Ministry of Culture.