Ivan Klíma, Novelist & Playwright

“Eastern European Literary Scene Before and After Communism”
Avenali Lecture
Photo of Ivan Klíma.
Wednesday, Apr 2, 1997 | 7:30 pm
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United States

Like Milan Kundera and Josef Škvorecký, novelist, essayist, and critic Ivan Klíma is considered one of the most important Czech writers of his time. During World War II, Klíma spent more than three years in Terezin, the Nazi concentration camp. His experiences there inspired him to become a writer, and he finished his first novel at the age of fifteen. While his work gained international acclaim, Klíma was banned from publishing in his homeland for 20 years. Once the ban on his work was lifted in 1990, his books became best-sellers in the Czech Republic as well. Klíma’s novels, written in Czech and widely translated, include First Loves; Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light; Love and Garbage; and The Ultimate Intimacy.