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Bohumil Hrabal

Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997), Czech writer, very popular in his own country, with an expressive style filled with images. His works have been translated into 27 languages. His best known novel was Closely Watched Trains (1965) (Ostre sledované vlaky), which was made into a film by Czech director Jiří Menzel. Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age (1964) (Tanecní hodiny pro starsí a pokrocilé) is all one sentence.

Several of his works were not published in Czechoslovakia due to objections of the authorities, including The Little Town Where Time Stood Still (Mestecko, kde se zastavil cas) and I Served the King of England (Jak jsem obsluhoval anglického krále).

He died when he fell from a fifth floor hospital where he was apparently trying to feed pigeons. It was noted that Hrabal lived on the fifth floor of his apartment building and that suicides by leaping from a fifth-floor window figured in more than one of his books.


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