Josef Hirsal was born in 1920 in Chomuticky in northeastern Bohemia. He became known in the 1960s as a poet and translator and was blacklisted after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. He now lives in Prague. Michael Henry Heim was a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at UCLA. His translations of Dubravka Ugresic's Fording the Stream of Consciousness and Felix Roziner's A Certain Finkelmeyer have also been published by Northwestern University Press.