Vita Nuova is the second in a trilogy of memoirs written from the perspective of Bohumil Hrabal's wife, Eliska, about their life in Prague from the 1950s to the 1970s, when Communist repression of artists was at its peak. Hrabal's inimitable humor, which in Eliska's ruminations ranges from bawdy slapstick to cutting irony, is all the more penetrating for being directed at himself. ""Vita Nuova"" showcases Hrabal's legendary bohemian intellectual life, particularly his relationship with Vladimir Boudnik. Hrabal creates a shrewd, lively portrait of Eastern European intellectual life in the mid-twentieth century.
Bohumil Hrabal (1914-97) is considered, along with Karel Capek and Milan Kundera, to be one of the great Czech writers of the twentieth century. He won international acclaim for the novels Closely Watched Trains (Northwestern, 1995), Too Loud a Solitude (1992), and I Served the King of England (1989). Tony Liman was born in Czechoslovakia in 1966 and grew up in Toronto. He received his M.F.A. from the University of British Columbia. He is a writer and translator, and his fiction has appeared in several Canadian literary journals. Liman lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.