Jan Kraus is a care worker who spends the last moments with dying people. Sometimes it is just days, sometimes weeks, rarely months. One of those he transports to the other side is Wenzel Winterberg, a native of Liberec, who is as old as the local crematorium and the Czechoslovak Republic. The nearly 100-year-old man talks and talks, suffering from “historical attacks“; he worked as a tram driver all his life and never studied but still knows a lot about history. One day he asks Kraus to go with him on his last journey across Central Europe. Together they take a train from Berlin to Sarajevo, relying on an old travel guide from 1913. It is cold outside, and old, long-forgotten stories come to life outside the train windows…
Published by Labyrint, 2021
©Peter von Felbert
Jaroslav Rudiš (* 1972) is a Czech novelist, playwright, and author of film scripts and radio plays. He made his literary debut in 2002 with the novel The Sky Under Berlin (Nebe pod Berlínem), for which he won the Jiří Orten Award. His books have appeared in numerous translations abroad, and he has received several awards for his work, including the prestigious Usedom Literature Prize and the Leipzig Book Fair Prize. With artist Jaromír 99, he created the cult graphic book Alois Nebel, which was made into an animated film (2012). He is a member of the Kafka Band.