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The Last Bell

The Last Bell

By Johannes Urzidil
Translated by David Burnett

“This miniature masterpiece and the other four stories come to us in one voice, that of an inexplicably overlooked Czech master who is only now finding an English-speaking audience. Credit is due to Pushkin Press for rediscovering Urzidil.”―The National

“A deeply moving look into the mind and heart of a man trying to both preserve his memories of home and contend with the cruel political realities shaping it.”―The Atlantic

“Not only a compelling read but also a valuable literary artifact.”―Los Angeles Review of Books

A maid who is unexpectedly bequeathed her employers’ worldly possessions when they flee the Nazi occupation; a loyal bank clerk, who falls into troublesome love with a portrait; a middle-aged travel agent, who is perhaps the least well-travelled man in town; a widowed villager, whose ‘magnetic’ twelve-year-old daughter witnesses a disturbing event; and a tiny village thrown into civil war by the disappearance of a cheesecake. These stories, about the tremendous upheaval which occurs when the ordinary encounters the unexpected, are stunningly told, with both humour and humanity.

This is the first ever English publication of these Bohemian tales, by one of the great overlooked writers of the twentieth century.

192 pages
Pushkin Press, 2017
4.8 x 0.6 x 6.5 inches
ISBN 9781782272397
Short Stories

$18.00 $18.00