The Jewish-Czech author Martin Vopěnka is one of the leading voices in world literature, writing with ‘with a deft and compellingly simple control of sentences that is reminiscent of both Kafka and Kundera’ – Choice.
“Martin Vopenka is one of my favourite Czech writers because, like Milan Kundera, he is beyond geography. You can’t find one anecdote or joke in his works; he is not boasting about his sense of humour. He is a modern writer for people under forty who have realized that real life is elsewhere. His writings have nothing in common with Hrabal’s language orgies; they are careful and precise. He is a Czech writer by chance. He could be British too.” – Mariusz Szczygiel, author of the best-selling Gottland: Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechoslavakia
Martin Vopěnka was born in Prague in 1963. The son of the famous mathematician Petr Vopěnka, Martin studied Mathematics and Physics at the Czech Technical University in Prague, but was always intent on being a writer. His first novel, Kameny z hor (Rocks from the Mountains) recorded memories and emotions from a journey across the Romanian Carpathians. The themes explored in his books go beyond the local themes of much Czech literature, and he seeks particular inspiration in the mountains (for example, he has visited Antarctica, Chile, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan). Perhaps because of his Jewish origins he views the contemporary world with caution, He contributes polemic articles to the national daily paper MF Dnes. In 2016 his Nová Planeta (New Planet) won the country’s premier Golden Ribbon Award.
Martin heads the Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers and owns Práh publishing house.