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Fiction General

Two Murders in My Double Life

A Novel

by (author) Josef Skvorecky

Initial publish date
May 2002
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2002
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2002
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

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In Josef Škvorecký's first novel written in English, the narrator lives in two radically dissimilar worlds: the exile world of the post-Communist Czech Republic where old feuds, treacherous betrayals, and friendships persevere; and the comfortable, albeit bland world of middle-class Canada. Murder intrudes upon both world. One features a young female sleuth, a college beauty queen, jealousy in the world of academia, and a neat conclusion. The other is a tragedy caused by evil social forces and philosophies, in which a web of lies insidiously entangles Sidonia, the narrator's wife. A brilliantly stylish tour de force in which the bright, sarcastic comedy of one tale sharply contrasts with the dark, elegiac bitterness of the other,Two Murders in My Double Life confirms Škvorecký's reputation as a versatile and engaging writer.

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.

Josef Skvorecky's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Potent and deeply affecting . . . building slowly . . . to a powerful conclusion."—Michiko Kakutani,The New York Times

"Two Murders combines genres for which Škvorecký is well known: the thinly disguised autobiographical novel and the murder mystery . . . [He] has proved himself to be the preeminent Czech interpreter of the theme of home and exile, in his life and in his work."—Neil Bermel,The New York Times Book Review

"This novel . . . offers the reader both sides of an obscure and unsolvable story, the here and now inflected by the there and then, a complex bio-mystery about the Kafka-esque machinations of politics."—Aritha van Herk,The Globe and Mail(Toronto)

"What's remarkable is thatTwo Murders in My Double Life is the first work that Mr. Škvorecký has written in his adopted language, yet it contains all the subtle linguistic byplay that characterizes what he originally wrote in Czech."—Douglas Fetherling,The Ottawa Citizen

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