Commies, Crooks, Gypsies, Spooks & Poets: Thirteen Books of Prague in the Year of the Great Lice Epidemic
Journeying from Chicago for a year's stay in his Czech homeland, the author and his wife and two children live high and low amidst Prague's ancient glory and modern confusion, and Novak moves through Eastern Europe with a native's ease and a westerner's eye. His vivid accounts of daily life in the Czech Republic and of the tragic war unfolding next door in the former Yugoslavia are at once highly personal, raucous, comic, painful, and memorable. Novak ties his book together with personal accounts of fighting for oranges as a child in the Stalinist fifties, of getting beaten up by state security officers as a teenager in the sixties, of being expelled from his homeland "forever" in the seventies, and finally of passing on a sense of ethnic heritage to his American children.
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Adam American Antonin asked beer Bohumil Hrabal bomb Brno Budapest buddies Charles Bridge Chicago Communist couple Croatian Croats crowns Czech Czechoslovakia damn dance door driving Emanuel entrepreneur Eugenia everything eyes feel finally girl Golem hand Havel head Hrabal Janecek Jirkov Joska Karasova Kasparkova kids Klaus knew Kratochvil lady Ledecky lice lived look Masek memory Milan Uhde MiloS Forman never night Okay party Persson Plankton Plzen politician post-Communist Prague Prague's Provincial Town pulled realized remember Serbs Skoda Skoda Favorit Slovak Slovakia soccer Sonja Sparta spook Stalin started stopped street suddenly suitcase talk thing Thirty Thousand Souls thought told took Town of Thirty Vaclav Vaclav Havel Velvet Revolution walk wanted watched weeks Wenceslas Square Willys Dream writing young