Looks like I'll be spending this year writing a book

A 'Time of Changes'

The aim of the book will be to describe those crucial transition decades through the eyes of a relative outsider -- in this case me. I’ll be drawing on stories from my first trips to Czechoslovakia in the 1980s as a student and journalist and later, in the 1990s, as a resident expat, working as an editor at “The Prague Post” and co-owner of The Globe Bookstore & Coffeehouse.

The plan is to write the manuscript in English and then work with a translator to finish the text in Czech. The hope (I mean “plan”) is to have a finished manuscript in hand by the end of the year. Publication is set for the first half of 2021.

The idea for the book came at least in part from this blog. My editor at Albatros, Jan Dvořák, had liked my posts about Czechoslovakia during the 1980s and thought a general Czech audience might share his interest. I hope his instincts prove right. Until the coronavirus pandemic, the transition from communism to democracy had been the defining event of a generation of Czechs and Slovaks. Maybe readers will pine for those quieter “good old days,” when all it took was a nationwide uprising to push a forty-year totalitarian government from power.

I’m excited and intimidated by the prospect of presenting my stories in a way that’s both faithful to the events and (hopefully) relevant to Czech and Slovak readers. For friends out there who’ve been along for at least part of the ride in Central and Eastern Europe, don’t be surprised if I come to you in the near future for your own impressions, stories and photos -- to share experiences and to help jog my own memory.

Comments

  1. I’ll be over in late 2021. I’ll buy a copy and have you sign it. This is great news and I know it will be an interesting and wonderful read. Congrats , Mark.

  2. Great news! It’ll make an interesting change from guidebooks! Look forward to reading the finished product.
    All the best, Neil

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About the author

Mark Baker

I’m an independent journalist, travel writer and author who’s lived in Central Europe for nearly three decades. I love the history, literature, culture and mystery of this often-overlooked corner of Europe, and I make my living writing articles and guidebooks about the region. Much of what I write eventually finds its way into commercial print or digital outlets, but a lot of it does not.

And that’s my aim with this website: to find a space for stories and experiences that fall outside the publishing mainstream.

My Book: ‘Čas Proměn’

In 2021, I published “Čas Proměn” (“Time of Changes”), my first book of historical nonfiction. The book, written in Czech, is a collection of stories about Central and Eastern Europe in the 1980s and early ‘90s, including memories of the thrilling anti-communist revolutions of 1989. The idea for the book and many of the tales I tell there were directly inspired by this blog. Czech readers, find a link to purchase the book here. I hope you enjoy.

Tales of Travel & Adventure in Central Europe
Mark Baker