Josef Skvorecky's novels have established him as a major author around the world, but his less well known essays include some of his most stimulating writing. Talkin' Moscow Blues is the first-ever collection of Skvorecky's essays, reviews, and interviews. Here are deeply personal stories about the friends and events that have shaped his beliefs and his writing; thoughtful examinations of the nature of art, politics, and freedom; reviews of writers such as Faulkner and Kafka, and filmmakers Jiri Menzel and Francis Coppola. And sprinkled throughout are Skvorecky's lively commentaries on the foibles of both East and West. Skvorecky has lived under the spectrum of political regimes - from the rightist oppression of the Nazis to the leftist oppression of the Soviets - and he has resisted the influence of both sides. As an amateur musician in Czechoslovakia he slipped verboten lyrics past the Nazi censor and played "degenerate" jazz with a lookout at the door; as a lifelong film devotee and friend of top filmmakers he saw scripts written and rewritten to match the ebb and flow of party politics; as a writer he had his first major work, The Cowards, banned and confiscated by the authorities. As a Czech he is exiled for life, but as a Canadian he has found the freedom to express his thoughts and opinions, both in fiction and in non-fiction. (1988)
About the author
JOSEF SKVORECKY is an award-winning author whose novels include The Cowards, The Bass Saxophone, The Swell Season and The Engineer of Human Souls. Among his numerous literary awards are the Neustadt International Prize for Literature (1980), the Governor General’s Award for Fiction (1984) and the Czech Republic State Prize for Literature (1999). He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1982, awarded the Order of the White Lion by the President of Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel, in 1990, and in 1992 was made a Member of the Order of Canada.