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Czech Writer Ivan Klíma at Politics and Prose-Nov. 13

Internationally acclaimed Czech writer Ivan Klíma, in conversation with Paul Elie of The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown, will discuss his memoir MY CRAZY CENTURY on Wednesday, November 13, 7pm, at Politics and Prose.

My Crazy Century is the prizewinning memoir of a writer who, deprived of freedom for much of his life, never ceased to be free in his imagination, creativity, and art. Neither nazi nor communist rulers could rob Ivan Klíma of his amazing ability—a fierce determination—to distill drops of truth from the sea of experience. Klíma was a witness, a participant, in the most dramatic events in twentieth century Europe. This is his story, brilliantly, wittily and poignantly told.” ~ former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

Ivan Klíma has lived a remarkable life during a turbulent period in history. While many of his novels are partly autobiographical, he now has written a memoir about those days largely spent under occupation by two totalitarian regimes – nazi and communist. In My Crazy Century, Klíma tells his personal story as a writer, editor, and dissident, but he also takes a fascinating look at this critical time from the perspective of a key player—from World War II to communist rule to the brief hope of the Prague Spring in 1968 to the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

Klíma was born in Prague in 1931, where he still resides. He survived the Terezín concentration camp, coming out at age 14 determined to be a writer. When the Soviet tanks rolled into Prague in 1968, he was in London, but returned home only to be banned for 20 years from publishing his work. However, he published his essays and novels abroad and in samizdat before the fall of the Iron curtain in 1989. He is author of over thirty plays, essay collections, and novels, including Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light, No Saints or Angels, The Ultimate Intimacy, and Lovers for a Day – all New York Times Notable books of the Years – as well as Love and Garbage. My Crazy Century won the prestigious Magnesia Litera Award for nonfiction.