Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jan Novak  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: 1953 in Czechoslovakia

-- Jan Novak on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

The author immigrated to Chicago as a teenager in 1969 with his parents. He lived in Cicero and attended Morton East High School and the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Novak is a Chicago-based American novelist. He was born in Czechoslovakia in 1953 and spent his first 16 years there. Currently, he is a colleague of Vaclav Havel.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Striptease Chicago /
ISBN: 0887811299. OCLC Number:

Sixty-Eight Publishers,. Toronto, Ont. :. 1983.

The Willys dream kit /
ISBN: 0151967660. OCLC Number:

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,. San Diego :. ©1985.

The grand life :
ISBN: 0671643541. OCLC Number:

Poseidon Press,. New York :. ©1987.

Commies, crooks, gypsies, spooks & poets :
ISBN: 1883642094. OCLC Number:

Steerforth Press,. S. Royalton, Vt. :. ©1995.

Journeying from Chicago for a year's stay in his Czech homeland, the author and his wife and two children live high and low amidst Prague's ancient glory and modern confusion, and Novak moves through Eastern Europe with a native's ease and a westerner's eye. His vivid accounts of daily life in the Czech Republic and of the tragic war unfolding next door in the former Yugoslavia are at once highly personal, raucous, comic, painful, and memorable. Novak ties his book together with personal accounts of fighting for oranges as a child in the Stalinist fifties, of getting beaten up by state security officers as a teenager in the sixties, of being expelled from his homeland "forever" in the seventies, and finally of passing on a sense of ethnic heritage to his American children.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)