An intimate, politically vital memoir by the acclaimed Czech author "of enormous power and originality" explores his life under Nazi and Communist regimes (The New York Times Book Review). In the 1930s on the outskirts of Prague, Ivan Klíma was unaware of his concealed Jewish heritage until the invading Nazis transported him and his family to the Terezín concentration camp. Miraculously, most of them survived. But they returned home to a city that was falling into the grip of another totalitarian ideology: Communism. Along this harrowing journey, Klíma discovered his love of literature and matured as a writer. But as the regime further encroached on daily life, arresting his father and censoring his work, Klíma recognized the party for what it was: a deplorable, colossal lie. The true nature of oppression became clear to him and many of his peers, among them Josef Škvorecký, Milan Kundera, and Václav Havel. From the brief hope of freedom during the Prague Spring of 1968 to Charter 77 and the eventual collapse of the regime in 1989's Velvet Revolution, Klíma's revelatory account provides a profoundly rich personal and national history. Klima's memoir provides "a sweeping, revealing look at one man's personal struggle as writer and individual, set against the backdrop of political turmoil" (Booklist) and a "searching exploration of a warped era . . . rich in irony-and dogged hope." (Publishers Weekly).
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