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All My Cats

Bohumil Hrabal



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03 November 2020
Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); Cats as pets
In the autumn of 1965, flush with the unexpected success of his first published books, the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal bought a weekend cottage in Kersko, about an hour's drive east of Prague. From then until his death in 1997, he divided his time between Prague and Kersko, where he wrote and tended to a community of cats. Over the years, his relationship with them grew deeper, becoming a measure of the pressures, both private and public, that impinged on his life as a writer.

All My Cats, written in 1983 after a serious car accident, is the chronicle of a cat lover who becomes overwhelmed by his cats and his life and is driven to the brink of madness by the dilemmas his indulgent love for the animals has created.
By:   Bohumil Hrabal
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 5mm
Weight:   78g
ISBN:   9780241422199
ISBN 10:   0241422191
Series:   Penguin Modern Classics
Pages:   120
Publication Date:   03 November 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Forthcoming

Bohumil Hrabal was one of the most important and admired Czech writers of the 20th century. He was born and raised in Brno in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914. After working as a railway labourer, insurance agent, travelling salesman, manual labourer, paper-packer and stagehand, he published a collection of poetry that was quickly withdrawn by the communist regime. His best-known books include I Served the King of England, Closely Watched Trains (made into an Academy Award-winning film directed by Jiri Menzel) and Too Loud a Solitude. In 1997, he fell to his death from the fifth floor of a Prague hospital, apparently trying to feed the pigeons.

Reviews for All My Cats

A stunningly revealing, occasionally deranged exploration of self, with cat ownership the frame through which that exploration is presented, by one of postwar Europe's greatest writers -- Kevin O'Rourke * Michigan Quarterly Review * A most sophisticated novelist, with a gusting humor and a hushed tenderness of detail -- Julian Barnes The very best writer -- Milan Kundera Hrabal was, for all his eccentricity, a major figure in 20th-century world literature -- Jonathan Coe Hrabal, to my mind, is one of the greatest European prose writers -- Philip Roth One of the great prose stylists of the 20th century; the scourge of state censors; the gregarious bar hound and lover of gossip, beer, cats and women -- Parul Sehgal

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