Denemarková Radka webPhoto: Milan Malíček

Radka Denemarková, geboren 1968, ist eine tschechische Autorin, Dramatikerin, Drehbuchautorin, Übersetzerin, Essayistin und lehrt Creative Writing. Als einzige tschechische Autorin ist sie dreifache Preisträgerin des Magnesia Litera Preises (in den Kategorien Prosa, Sachbuch und Übersetzung.) Sie studierte Germanistik und Bohemistik an der Karls Universität und promovierte 1997. Sie forschte am Institut für Tschechische Literatur der Akademie der Wissenschaften der Tschechischen Republik und war als dramaturgische Beraterin am Na zábradlí Theater in Prag tätig. Freischaffend seit 2004. Denemarková ist die Autorin von Sám sobě nepřítelem / Being My Own Enemy (1998; eine Monografie über den Theater- und Filmregisseur Evald Schorm), Ohlédnutí za Milenou Honzíkovou /Remembering Milena Honzíková (2003) sowie Herausgeberin der Anthologie Zlatá šedesátá / The Golden Sixties (2000). Ihr Romandebut A já pořád kdo to tluče / Dreht euch nicht um erschien 2005, ein Jahr später gefolgt von Peníze od Hitlera / Ein herrlicher Flecken Erde (Gewinner des prestigereichen Magnesia Litera Preises für das beste Prosawerk des Jahres). Die polnische Ausgabe wurde für den Angelus Preis (2009) nominiert, während die deutsche Ausgabe Ein herrlicher Flecken Erde (DVA 2011) den Usedom Preis für Literatur (2011) und den Georg Dehio Preis (2012) gewann. Für den monografischen Roman Smrt, nebudeš se báti aneb Příběh Petra Lébla / You Will not Be Afraid of Death: The Story of Petr Lébl (2008) gewann sie den Magnesia Litera Preis für das beste Sachbuch des Jahres. 2010 produzierte das Na zábradlí Theater ihr Stück Spací vady / Sleeping Deficiencies. Für ihre Übersetzung von Atemschaukel der Nobelpreisträgerin Herta Müller (tschechischer Titel: Rozhoupaný dech) gewann Radka Denemarková zum dritten Mal den Magnesia Litera Preis 2011 für die beste Übersetzung des Jahres. Im Herbst 2014 veröffentlichte sie den Roman Příspěvek k dějinám radosti / Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Freude. Ihr Buch US 2 / MY 2 (2014) wurde verfilmt (Regie von Slobodanka Radun, Premiere November 2014). Radka Denemarkovás Werke wurden in mehr als 17 Sprachen übersetzt. Sie lebt in Prag mit ihrer Tochter Ester und ihrem Sohn Jan. (website auf Tschechisch, Englisch, Deutsch)

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Literarische Belletristik
Host, 2014
329 pp

Slovenisch: Police dubove 2016 
Polnisch: Amaltea - Herbst 2018
Chinese simplified - in Verhandlung
Italienisch: - in Verhandlung


The body of a wealthy middle-aged businessman is found in his luxury villa in Prague.  Initially nothing suggests foul play but the man’s widow insists it couldn’t possibly be suicide.  As he begins to investigate, the policeman finds himself attracted to the young and beautiful widow.

A trail leads him to an orange house with a red roof on Prague’s Petřín hill, inhabited by three extraordinary elderly women: a yoga instructor, a filmmaker and a teacher of creative writing.  While the old ladies are away on some mysterious business, the policeman sneaks into their house. In the basement he discovers a vast archive of documents dating back to World War II.

What connects the murder case with the three women and their treasure trove documenting thousands of cases of rape and abuse?  Will the family of the young Indian woman who died after being gang-raped ever get justice? Will the ringleaders of the gang in the north of England who groomed young girls and forced them into prostitution ever be convicted for their crimes?  Or is vigilante justice the only possible response to such evil?  

Only twittering swallows, roaming freely from continent to continent, have the answers and can make all the connections from their bird’s eye view.  Disguised as a crime novel and combining fact and fiction, Radka Denemarková’s fourth novel is a passionate indictment of all forms of violence against women whenever and wherever it occurs.



Literarische Belletristik
Host, 2011
328 pp

Slovenisch: Modrijan, 2013
Polnisch: Ksiazkowe Klimaty 2017
Auszüge wurden auf Deutsch und Englisch veröffentlicht

KOBOLD Ein Doppelroman

Prague, Christmas 1941.  Michael Kobold, a man obsessed with the river Vltava and Charles Bridge, tries to put a coat on the statue of St. John Nepomuk. Man and statue tumble into the freezing river. In the ensuing commotion, 17-year-old budding writer Hella, a sensitive girl from a well-to-do Jewish family, jumps off the Bridge to avoid being crushed by the crowd. In the rescue boat she encounters and falls for Kobold, half-man and half-water goblin, and marries him against the wishes of her family. She escapes being deported with her parents to a concentration camp, only to end up in the prison of a destructive marriage.

Prague, early 21st century. Hella’s and Kobold’s daughter returns to her native city after many years abroad and recalls the devastating impact her parents’ relationship and the fateful river had had on herself and her younger twin brothers.

A working-class neighbourhood on the outskirts of Prague, present day. Justýna, an unemployed young Roma single mother is desperately trying to make ends meet and keep custody of her nine children. The only person who is genuinely fond of her and secretly tries to help is a lonely, disabled funeral parlour attendant. However, amidst a newly prosperous, indifferent society neither of the two unfortunate, marginalized characters stands a chance.

Kobold is two stories in one, water and fire, two elements in one. It is left to the reader to decide which part to read first, and the link between the stories and characters is revealed only gradually.  Surfeit of Tenderness, the longer of the two stories, is a powerful indictment of domestic violence and the totalitarian undercurrents lurking within individuals and families. The second and shorter story, Surfeit of People, is a passionate condemnation of a society that has lost all sense of solidarity with the less fortunate, pushing them to the margins as if they suffered from a contagious disease. This society, Radka Denemarková believes, is the breeding ground for ‘Kobolds’- "people who are highly intelligent but with zero emotional intelligence and zero social empathy". By manipulating others these people reach the top at lightning speed. My novel encompasses a plethora of themes, including totalitarianism.”



Literarische Belletristik
Host, 2006

Ungarisch: Európa 2009
Polnisch: ATUT 2008
Deutsch: DVA 2009
Englisch: Women's Press Toronto (Rechte frei)
Slowenisch: Modrijan 2010
Italienisch: Keller 2012
Bulgarisch: Elias Canetti 2013
Spanisch: Galaxia Gutenberg 2015
Swedisch: Aspekt Herbst 2016
Mazedonisch: Begemot
Serbisch: Heliks Herbst 2017
Auszüge wurden in Portugiesisch, Moldavisch, Rumänsich


16-year-old Gita Lauschmannová, who grew up in a German-speaking, assimilated Jewish family in a Czech village, returns from a Nazi concentration camp at the end of the war.  Now an orphan, she hopes for a warm welcome but instead finds a hostile reception from her father’s former employees who have taken possession of her family’s property and moved into her family’s house. Denouncing her for speaking German and labelling her a Nazi, they put her through a terrifying ordeal. Gita only narrowly escaping being murdered, and is lumped together with the Germans being driven out of Czechoslovakia. She manages to escape again and makes her way to her only surviving relative, an aunt in Prague.

Following the end of communism, Gita Lauschmannová - now a retired doctor - returns to the village to seek justice and an apology. But again the locals, terrified that she wants to recover her long-lost property, close ranks against her.  Her only - unlikely - ally turns out to be the son of the family that had driven her out.

Is it possible to get justice for barbaric acts? Can old wrongs be righted? Gita is the victim of racist, anti-Semitic and political prejudice and collective guilt. "Money from Hitler" is a harrowing story infused with the power of a classical tragedy. It is a timeless story of persecution and expulsion, and the futility of the struggle for justice.  Radka Denemarková’s second novel won the Magnesia Litera for fiction, Czech Republic’s most prestigious literary prize, in 2007. A critically acclaimed play based on the novel was staged in 2010-2012 at Prague’s Svanda Theatre. The production stirred lively public debate on the highly sensitive subject of postwar expulsions and German-Czech-Jewish triangle.


Literarische Belletristik
Druhé mešto, 2005

Ungarisch: Európa 2007
Slowenisch: Police dubove


Aging star theatre director Petr Buch returns to Prague after decades in German exile to stage a keenly anticipated new play by celebrated playwright Birgit Stadtherrová. As lines in the play reawaken painful memories from his past, Buch - whose father had been a feared secret police interrogator in the 1950s - is anxious to meet the writer and find out how she discovered his darkest secret.

Pragmatic theatre dramaturg Klamová uses every trick in the book to placate the increasingly impatient Buch and entice the neurotic Birgit out of her seclusion. She enlists the playwright’s self-sacrificing, sweet-natured stepsister Johanka but Birgit stubbornly refuses to come to the theatre, switching off her phone and reliving her traumatic childhood and abuse suffered at the hands of her cruel mother. Will the two protagonists ever meet? Will the ill-fated play ever open?

Radka Denemarková, herself a playwright who had also worked as dramaturg at the famous Theatre on the Balustrade in Prague, channels her own experience of the theatre to depict the agonies suffered by creative artists, debunk the cult of star directors and poke fun at petty rivalries among prima donna actors. Their shenanigans are juxtaposed with the painstaking work of hard-working staff behind the scenes whose empathy and patient diplomatic efforts gently steer the creative chaos to a triumphant opening night.