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Twisted Spoon Press

PO Box 21 - Preslova 12, 150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic

Book details:
House of Nine Devils


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forthcoming :
The Prague Triptych

also by the author & translator:
The Last Bell

  house of the nine devils
Selected Bohemian Tales

by Johannes Urzidil

translated from the German by David Burnett

Collected here and translated into English for the first time
are some of the most renowned Bohemian stories from Prague native Johannes Urzidil, a long-neglected writer whose short fiction herein spans centuries, from the bygone mythical Prague of alchemists to the late Habsburg metropolis where ethnic tensions seethed under a genteel veneer to the terror-filled days of Nazi occupation and a desperate flight to safety. Bearing his trademark wisdom, empathy, and wit, the writing often blurs the border between reportage, memoir, and fiction, such as an encounter with Gavrilo Princip, wasting away in the Terezín prison after his assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, or a WWI soldier trying to evade military police and thus disrupting a night at Café Arco, a favorite haunt of the Prague Circle that included Brod, Kafka, and Werfel, as well as Urzidil, the group’s youngest member and one of the last links to that symbiotic milieu of Prague German-Jewish artists.


The most erudite of all Prague German writers, his mastery consists not least of all in his ability to tell a story while politely concealing his erudition.

— Peter Demetz


ISBN 9788086264608
198 pp., 135 x 190 mm
hardcover with ribbon bookmark
fiction : short stories

release dates:
UK/Europe: September 2022
US/Canada: November 2022

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