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Jan Balabán

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Jan Balabán (1961–2010) was a Czech author, journalist, and translator from Ostrava, in northern Moravia. Author of five volumes of short stories, a novella, a graphic novel, a play, and two novels, he is typically characterized as an existentialist writer. His works involve desperate people in desperate situations, and his terse, austere style is often compared to that of Raymond Carver and William Faulkner. “The Cherry Tree” comes from Možná že odcházíme (2004; We Might Not Be Here Long), a volume of twenty stories featuring characters facing life-altering situations, including a fatal illness, a spouse’s infidelity, and the death of a child, which won the Magnesia Litera Award for Prose. His 2010 novel Zeptej se táty (Go Ask Dad) won the Magnesia Litera Award for Book of the Year. Balabán’s works have been translated into four languages.

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