Nominated by:

Městská knihovna Třinec, Czech Republic

Publisher of nominated edition:

Little Brown and Company, USA

Spaceman of Bohemia

Jaroslav Kalfař      

An intergalactic odyssey of love, ambition, and self-discovery. Orphaned as a boy, raised in the Czech countryside by his doting grandparents, Jakub Procházka has risen from small-time scientist to become the country’s first astronaut. When a dangerous solo mission to Venus offers him both the chance at heroism he’s dreamt of, and a way to atone for his father’s sins as a Communist informer, he ventures boldly into the vast unknown. But in so doing, he leaves behind his devoted wife, Lenka, whose love, he realizes too late, he has sacrificed on the altar of his ambitions.

Alone in Deep Space, Jakub discovers a possibly imaginary giant alien spider, who becomes his unlikely companion. Over philosophical conversations about the nature of love, life and death, and the deliciousness of bacon, the pair form an intense and emotional bond. Will it be enough to see Jakub through a clash with secret Russian rivals and return him safely to Earth for a second chance with Lenka?

Rich with warmth and suspense and surprise, Spaceman of Bohemia is an exuberant delight from start to finish. Very seldom has a novel this profound taken readers on a journey of such boundless entertainment and sheer fun.

About the author

Jaroslav Kalfař was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic, and immigrated to the United States at the age of fifteen. He earned an MFA at New York University, where he was a Goldwater Fellow and one of three nominees for the inaugural E. L. Doctorow Fellowship. He lives in Brooklyn.

Librarian’s comments:

When Jaroslav Kalfař ‘s first novel Spaceman of Bohemia was published, it was great surprise for readers and for critics. Rich with warmth, suspense and surprise, Spaceman of Bohemia is an exuberant delight from start to finish.

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