Books by Craig Cravens

AARON'S LEAP by Magdaléna Platzová
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"The revelations redeem some of the stilted writing and the characters' senses of self-importance, as the reader comes to connect with and care for these characters as more than mouthpieces for history."
A Czech novel about art, death and sex set against the backdrop of the Holocaust and never-ending war. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 4, 2013

"A fitting capstone to a distinguished literary life and an exposition of one of the main flaws of communism—that 'the betrayal of intelligence leads to the barbarization of everyone.'"
From the Nazi concentration camps to the communist show trials, Klíma (No Saints or Angels, 2001, etc.) shines a vibrant light on the machinery of oppression and the struggles of artists and intellectuals to subvert government control. Read full book review >
LOVERS & MURDERERS by Vladimír Páral
Released: Feb. 1, 2002

An amusing if intermittently exhausting black comedy (originally published in 1969): the third volume of its eloquent Czech author's "black pentology" (Catapult, 2000; The Five Sonyas, not reviewed), about the aftermath of the 1960 revolution. It focuses on low-level chemist Borek Trojan and a bewildering array of colleagues, relatives, lovers, and neighbors, most of whom live in a small apartment building where the struggle for more space and finer accommodations assumes the proportions of both bedroom farce and mortal combat. Cravens's brisk translation gives Páral's labyrinthine sentences and paragraphs a welcome colloquial kick, making this merciless satire on bureaucracy and consumerism, among other human failings, a surprisingly entertaining reading experience. Read full book review >