Martin Vopenka (born 1963)

  • Czech writer with Jewish roots and author of 23 book titles
  • Profound thinker and visionary in books for adults, a sensitive guide and teacher in books for children and youth

He’s been writing since his childhood, despite being forced to study mathematics and physics during the communist era. Yet this unwanted education was later used in some of his novels.

His work received awards and recently, a feature film was made based on one of his novels. His books were published in English, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Slovakian, French, Arabic, and Macedonian.

Vopenka’s literature is distinguished by high sensitivity for the inner tension of an individual as well as for dangerous aspects of a whole society. Also for endangering our planet and our society.

His books for children and youth are among the most successful, popular, and appreciated in the Czech Republic. In them, too, he touches on serious topics in the belief that children are our good future and can do more than we think.

Occasionally, Vopěnka also devotes himself to poetry, which he considers to be the highest verbal formation. Some of his poems have been published in English in online anthologies.

Despite his steadily writing, he makes his living as a publisher. He established his publishing house Prah (in Czech Threshold) in 1990 – shortly after the Velvet Revolution. He engages also socially. Since 2003, he is a chair of the Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers and during his time he considerably enhanced the prestige of this organization. Regularly, he writes polemic articles for the newspapers.

“I write my novels by hand with un illegible, tiny handwriting which I then retype on a computer. Noone is able to read my handwriting, and after a while neither can I. To write without a computer from my head straight to my hand and pen enables me a fuller immersion into my story.”