Prolific Czech author and publisher dies

Katie Morhen, 04 Jan 2012 09:57

A renowned Czech author and publisher has died at the age of 87 following a successful career that saw his works banned in his homeland under Communist rule.

Josef Skvorecky, born in former Czechoslovakia in 1924, died in Toronto this week after a legendary career in the book industry.

Alongside his writer wife Zdena Salivarova, the author founded the publishing house Sixty-Eight Publishers Corp, which published many books over a 20-year period that were forbidden in Czech and Slovak.

In 1968, Skvorecky and his wife moved to Canada where he began teaching in the department of English and the University of Toronto until his retirement in 1990.

The author saw his first novel, The Cowards, condemned by the Communist party and banned in his home county, despite not being published until 1958, ten years after he completed the work.

Among a number of honours, Skvorecky received the Order of the White Lion from the president of post-Communist Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel.

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