The first ever English collection of stories by Johannes Urzidil - a friend of Kafka and an unjustly overlooked writer
A maid who is unexpectedly bequeathed her employers' worldly possessions when they flee the Nazi occupation; a loyal bank clerk, who falls into troublesome love with a portrait; a middle-aged travel agent, who is perhaps the least well-travelled man in town; a widowed villager, whose 'magnetic' twelve-year-old daughter witnesses a disturbing event; and a tiny village thrown into civil war by the disappearance of a cheesecake. These stories, about the tremendous upheaval which occurs when the ordinary encounters the unexpected, are stunningly told, with both humour and humanity.
This is the first ever English publication of these Bohemian tales, by one of the great overlooked writers of the twentieth century.
Johannes Urzidil (1896-1970) was a German Bohemian writer, poet, historian and journalist. Born in Prague, he was a member of the Prague Circle and a friend of Franz Kafka's and Max Brod's. He fled to England after the German occupation in 1939, and eventually settled in the United States. Best known during his lifetime for the Prague Triptych collection of short stories and his literary history Goethe in Bohemia, he won several awards for his writing, and even had an asteroid named after him.