Czech author Josef Skvorecky dies at 87

Posted Jan. 03, 2012, at 6:12 p.m.

PRAGUE — Josef Skvorecky, a Czech exile and author who published works by Vaclav Havel and Milan Kundera that had been banned by communist authorities in their native country, has died. He was 87.

Skvorecky’s wife, Zdena Salivarova, told the Czech CTK news agency he died Tuesday in Toronto. The couple moved to Canada after the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of then-Czechoslovakia that crushed the liberal reforms known as the Prague Spring.

He was born Sept 27, 1924, in Nachod in northern Czechoslovakia, and went on to write novels, such as “The Engineer of Human Souls,” that humorously captured the absurdity of the totalitarian regime.

He and Salivarova established ’68 Publishers in Canada in 1971 to release more than 200 books by exiled Czech authors and those banned by the communists.

 

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