Miloš Urban (1967) is one of the Czechia’s most translated writers, and has published a total of 15 books, including novels, novellas and short stories. The novels Santini’s Language (Santiniho jazyk) and Water-Goblin (Hastrman) have been made into films. The adaptation of Water-Goblin was directed by Ondřej Havelka and entered cinemas in the spring of 2018; the book itself won Czechia’s prestigious Magnesia Litera (2012), for its meditiations on sacrifice in the face of ecological challenge. Urban’s book The Seven Churches (Sedmikostelí, 1998), brimming with Gothic-styled murder and melancholy in the middle of old Prague, has sold tens of thousands of copies, and was translated into twenty languages. Urban publishes a novel almost every year, each exploring new themes. He combines suspense with literary prowess.
May 2022, 320 pages
Available material: English sample, German sample
Leon Silkysbooth is as eccentric as his name, yet he cares solely for his job and family. This engineer, overseeing Prague’s neon illumination in the 1920s, lets his creativity and diligence lure him to another profession: he is to improve the social perception of the Meet Factory (the Central Prague Slaughterhouse). The enormous slaughterhouse is untouchable, and Leon must regularly cleanse and bleach its reputation with his wit. When a beautiful woman arrives as the slaughterhouse’s newest employee, Leon senses something is off about her. He decides to get to the bottom of it, turning his life upside down. As if it were not bad enough that the slaughterhouse trades in meat, now dirty competition is trying to slither its way in – and human bones are discovered at the Maniny rendering plants.