Klíma, Ivan

Klíma, Ivan ēvän´ klēm´ə [key], 1931–, Czech author, b. Prague as Ivan Kauders, grad. Charles Univ., Prague (1956). Of Jewish descent, Klíma spent 1941–45 in the Theresienstadt (now Terezín) concentration camp with his family; only he and his parents survived. He later worked as an editor, and began to write. When Russia invaded (1968) Czechoslovakia, Klíma was teaching in London. He returned home, and continued to write though his work was banned. A prolific author, he published in small samizdat editions and in overseas editions until the fall of Communism in 1989. His often quietly humorous works are written in a candid, unadorned prose that examines the realities of Czech life under two totalitarian regimes. His novels include A Ship Named Hope (1969, tr. 1970), the semiautobiographical Love and Garbage (1988, tr. 1990), and Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light (1993, tr. 1994). Among his short-story collections are My Merry Mornings (1979, tr. 1985), My First Loves (1987, tr. 1988), and My Golden Trades (1992, tr. 1994). He also has written plays; essays, e.g., Spirit of Prague (tr. 1995); children's books; and a biography of Karel Čapek (2002).

See his memoir, My Crazy Century (2009, tr. 2013).

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