Lukáš Palán (b. 1986) has lived in Dublin and Porto, where he opened an English-language bookstore and successfully went bust. An ex-bookseller and ex-music journalist, he now works in education at Charles University. He has published two books of poetry: Cunt, Shit, Hitler, Prague (2014) and Loughorn (2016), as well as a novella titled Zero Sum (2020). His distinctive prose, intentionally raw and underscored by very dark humour, shows the influence of the masters of the naturalistic novel and current dystopic writing.
Jakub Janovský (b. 1984) graduated from the Atelier of Drawing of Jitka Svobodová at Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in 2010, a year earlier he began to work in the studio Trafačka situated in Vysočany, Prague, where he worked until the end of 2014. However, already in Jihlava he began to create transient drawings in abandoned interiors and exteriors, a peculiar form of art entry into the public space, wall sketches, which often contain motifs that are subsequently displayed on paintings. Janovský works with motives related to childhood, as well as with violence and special sexual fetishism
December 2021, 176 pages
Available material: English sample
Rights sold to: Hungary (Metropolis Media)
As the next-door neighbour likes to say, a thing that’s broken just got a new shape. It can indeed be true for old mugs or plates – but what about an entire community? This story of an unnamed village, so generic it could be anywhere, really deceiving and misleading the reader from the get-go. Everything here is somehow familiar: the badly behaved youngsters who fight boredom by shooting their air rifles at passing cars, or wild-riding their bikes around the town square; the neighbours quibbling in a community so close-knit that everyone sees into everyone else’s plates – and bedrooms; the regulars at the village pub endlessly debating the state of the world in a way recognizable in a local dive anywhere. Everybody is waiting for Egon, the only one from the village who got anywhere in life, while the atmosphere is growing tense and a new future is looming – one with a markedly different shape, and possibly much more brutal, than today.
“Crude Shape is definitely one of this year’s most intriguing pieces of domestic prose. (…) The stylized, colorfully depicted scenery is reminiscent of the similarly universal dystopian world of Bianca Bellová’s The Lake, for example.”
– ČRo – vltava.cz