Marek Šindelka: The Poet’s Eye Has Not Disappeared

Marek Šindelka was born in Polička in 1984. He holds a degree in cultural studies from Charles University in Prague, and studied screenwriting at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts. He debuted with the poetry collection Strychnin a jiné básně [Strychnine and Other Poems] (2005), which received the Jiří Orten Award in 2006; this was then followed by the novels Chyba [The Mistake] (2008), Zůstaňte s námi [Stay with Us] (2011, received the Magnesia Litera prize for prose in 2012), Mapa Anny [A Map of Anna] (2014) and Únava materiálu [Material Weariness] (2016, received the Magnesia Litera prize for prose in 2017). ‘The poet’s eye has not disappeared,’ writes Jonáš Zbořil, ‘but Europeans’ “first-world problems” have been replaced by a fight for survival, leading, in consequence, to a shift from ornamental detail to brusque storytelling. The hero of the novel leaps across the fence of a detention institution and embarks on a run across the winter landscape.’