Marek Šindelka is one of the Czech Republic’s leading young authors. Known for acclaimed novels such as The Mistake and Material Fatigue, the 36-year-old has also won top domestic prizes for his poetry and short stories. His broad oeuvre also includes graphic novels, while movie scripts he has penned should reach the big screen in 2021.
Made his debut with a volume of verse Strychnin (Strychnine) for which he was awarded the Jiří Orten Prize 2006. Two years later he published his first novel Chyba (Aberrant), a book that was well received by both critics and readers. In 2001 he published a volume of short stories called Zůstaňte s námi (Stay Tuned), expressing a critical and ironic view on contemporary life. The book was awarded with the Magnesia Litera Prize 2012 and was nominated for the Josef Škvorecký Prize 2012. His next book, Mapa Anny (Map of Anna), is a set of short stories that are interconnected with each other and digs deep into the personal feelings and lives of young people. In 2016 Šindelka published a novel Únava materiálu (Material fatigue), in which he focuses on european “migrant crisis”.
In this wide-ranging conversation, Marek Šindelka discusses the Czech writers that first showed him the power of literature, why he has repeatedly reshaped his debut novel, his fascination with the strange case of an adult Czech woman who passed herself off as a child – and growing up at one of the country’s most famous castles.