Prague - The winner of this year's Josef Škvorecký Award - and the CZK 250,000 that come with it - is Petra Hůlová and her latest novel, Stanice Tajga (Taiga Station), the ČeskéNoviny.cz website has reported.
The jury has selected this young Czech prose writer over well-established authors including Jaroslav Rudiš, Emil Hakl and Jiří Dědeček.
"Of all the works nominated for the Josef Škvorecký Award, this book is the most mature," said Vladimír Karfík, literary critic and chairman of the jury.
Hůlová has repeated the success of her first novel, Paměť mojí babičce (Memory for my Grandmother) from 2002, which won a number of literary awards at the very beginning of Hůlová's career.
Desire to go away and never come back
Stanice Tajga is Hůlová's fifth prose. The adventurous story is about Danish entrepreneur Hablund, who travels to Siberia after the World War II, and anthropologist Erske, who 60 years later tries to track Hablund.
"It is about one person getting lost and another person somehow trying to find him," says Hůlová. "At the same time, though, it is a story of a woman who has spent years waiting for a man without knowing anything about him. And lastly, it is also a half-factual and half-imaginary history of remote parts of Siberia."
Having visited Siberia several times, Hůlová draws on her own travel experience as well as her feelings and emotions.
"For a long time I have wanted to write a book about someone who goes away and never comes back. Because even I had this feeling - maybe a desire - to go away somewhere and never come back," says the author.