Bohumil Hrabal

All My Cats
  • All My Cats

  • A gem of a book about the aggravations and joys of cats from a literary master

    In the autumn of 1965, flush with the unexpected success of his first published books, the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal bought a weekend cottage in Kersko, about an hour's drive east of Prague. From then until his death, he tended to a community of cats at his country home. Over the years, his relationship to them grew more intense, becoming a measure of the pressures, both private and public, that affected his life as a novelist.

    Written in 1983, this is his confessional chronicle of what happened. It is the story of how a cat lover becomes increasingly overwhelmed by the demands of his life, and his cats, finding himself driven to the brink of madness by both the indulgent love and the resentment he feels. Moving, shocking and honest, All My Cats invites us to grapple with the meaning of love and loss.

Bohumil Hrabal was born in 1914 in Brno-Zidenice, Moravia. He received a degree in Law from Prague's Charles University, and lived in Prague since the late 1940s. In the 1950s he worked as a manual laborer in the Kladno ironworks, from which he drew inspiration for his "hyper-realist" texts he was writing at that time. He won international acclaim for such books as I Served the King of England and Too Loud a Solitude. Hrabal is considered, along with Jaroslav Hasek and Karel Capek, as one of the greatest Czech writers of the 20th century, and perhaps the most important in the post-war period. In February 1997 he flew out of his hospital window never to return.