Tereza Boučková

Tereza Boučková

© Martin Vítek

An internationally recognized best-selling author, Boučková, grew up in a political environment that prevented her from using her talents. She was born in 1957 – a time when Czechoslovakia was in the depths of communism. Because of her father, the writer and dissident Pavel Kohout, the regime denied her many privileges; for example, she was prevented from studying drama at a Theatre Faculty.

Since 1989 Boučková has devoted herself entirely to her writing. She has published eight books of prose and journalism, and some have been published in translation into German and Spanish. She is also devoted to writing screen plays and stage dramas. In her most successful novel, Rok kohouta (The Year of the Rooster), she explores the deep life crisis that she experienced when she adopted two Roma children.




A selection of titles


Life is Wonderful (Život je nádherný)

Publisher: Odeon, Praha, 2016
ISBN: 978-80-207-1725-2
237 pages

In her newest autobiographical novel, the author describes her life from Christmas of 2010 to 23 December 2011, frankly and openly discussing the events in her life. She struggles with the unfortunate outcome of adopting two Romany children, which she had already described in her earlier book, The Year of the Rooster (Rok kohouta). Readers will empathize with her worries for her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. The novel also includes the author’s reflections on art, especially film and literature. Her intimate family world increasingly blends with the outside world, both finally merging in the death of former president and playwright Václav Havel. Reading out from his old correspondence and telling stories about him, the author attempts to restore her mother’s memories and return her lost life back to her, all the while feeling that Havel’s death has also marked the end of a long – and wonderful – chapter in her life.

Boučková’s writing style is concise, clear, and minimalist; the plot is dynamic, well developed, and plays with the reader’s expectations.

Radim Kopáč, literary critic

Tereza Boučková - Rok kohouta
Click on the cover for the extract.

The Year of the Rooster (Rok kohouta)

Publisher: Odeon, Praha, 2008
ISBN 978-80-207-1263-9
332 pages

Rights sold: German, Slovenian, Hungarian, Spanish, Egyptian, Polish, Bulgarian

This autobiographical novel tells the story of a woman whose life is turned upside down, and her fight to regain control. Written in the form of diary entries, the author depicts the nightmarish experiences of an adoptive mother, whose two foster sons slide into delinquency at the onset of puberty. Using harsh honesty, she portrays how her dream of a large, well-functioning family dramatically falls apart.

The Year of the Rooster is a powerful, readable, witty, tough, and crucial book.

Vojtěch Varyš, Unborn

Finally, a book that cannot be laid aside, even after being finished. Finally, a text rolling rampantly, being swallowed quickly despite its very hot taste. The authentic diary entries have the incredible power of ancient drama, which, thanks to the author’s relentless fight for the sense of life, will perhaps allow her to experience catharsis in the end.

Tereza Marečková, Nový prostor

Click on the cover for the extract.

Madly Sad Stories (Šíleně smutné povídky)

Publisher: Odeon, Praha, 2013
ISBN 978-80-207-1481-7
124 pages

Rights sold: German, Hungarian

In thirteen short stories the author portrays everyday tragedies like loneliness, illness, ruined marriages, destroyed hopes, disappointment or even unfortunate death. The bitterness of these topics is softened with gentle, mostly absurd humour.


Boučková excels in the opening lines of her stories as well as in sharp, strong and surprising punchlines.

Radim Kopáč, literary critic

Boučková’s style, which combines subtle humor with a narrative ingenuity, ensures an extraordinary reading pleasure.

Alf Mentzer, Darmstädter Jury, Gemany, on the occasion of selecting Tereza Boučková’s Madly Sad Stories for the Book of the Month in November 2014

Boučková accompanies her characters affectionately and in weightless sets. These sad stories are full of joy.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2014


Indian Run (Indiánský běh)

Publisher: Odeon, 2016, 4th edition
ISBN: 978-80-207-1246-2
232 pages
First published in 1989

The book was published in Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands in the 1990s.

Rights sold: Italian (2017)

This autobiographical novel is the author’s debut and also the first part of her unplanned trilogy, followed by the novels The Year of the Rooster and Life is Wonderful.
The topic of childhood and adolescence in totalitarian Czechoslovakia is explored in an evocative and original way. Detached messages and ironic humor result in a controversial yet sensitive statement about that time and its people. The author’s father, the writer Pavel Kohout, and the playwright and later president of free Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel, are concealed behind sophisticated nicknames. The author comes to terms with her traumatic feelings resulting from a complicated relationship with her father. To this key theme another is added: love and motherhood – love as an attractive force, motherhood as an unfulfilled yearning.