Jáchym Topol: Thoughts Flit Through My Head

Jáchym Topol was born in 1962 in Prague. He is brother to musician Filip Topol, son of playwright and poet Josef Topol and grandson of writer Karel Schulz. He was active in the Czech underground of the 1970s and 1980s, debuting as a poet with collections such as Miluju tě k zbláznění [Love You Crazy] (1991) or V úterý bude válka [On Tuesday There’ll Be War] (1992). He also worked as a journalist for Respekt, Lidové noviny and the Revolver Revue, and wrote lyrics for the band Psí vojáci and singer Načeva. His first novel, Sestra [Sister], was published in 1994; it was then followed by another eight pieces of prose, the most recent of which is Citlivý člověk [A Sensitive Person] (2017). ‘I feel that writing books is a life for two people,’ says Topol. ‘Thoughts flit through my head wherever I am – at work, at the pub, on a hike – and whenever they do, I tell myself: You should write something about it. I wish one day I wouldn’t have to.’