Spaceman of Bohemia

Author(s): Jaroslav Kalfar

Science Fiction | Chloe Recommends

"A frenetically imaginative first effort, booming with vitality and originality . . . Kalfar's voice is distinct enough to leave tread marks."-Jennifer Senior, New York Times



Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction's 2017 First Novel Prize
New York Times Book Review
Editors' Choice
Best New Fiction -- Wall Street Journal


An intergalactic odyssey of love, ambition, and self-discovery


Orphaned as a boy, raised in the Czech countryside by his doting grandparents, Jakub Procházka has risen from small-time scientist to become the country's first astronaut. When a dangerous solo mission to Venus offers him both the chance at heroism he's dreamt of, and a way to atone for his father's sins as a Communist informer, he ventures boldly into the vast unknown. But in so doing, he leaves behind his devoted wife, Lenka, whose love, he realizes too late, he has sacrificed on the altar of his ambitions.

Alone in Deep Space, Jakub discovers a possibly imaginary giant alien spider, who becomes his unlikely companion. Over philosophical conversations about the nature of love, life and death, and the deliciousness of bacon, the pair form an intense and emotional bond. Will it be enough to see Jakub through a clash with secret Russian rivals and return him safely to Earth for a second chance with Lenka?

Rich with warmth and suspense and surprise, Spaceman of Bohemia is an exuberant delight from start to finish. Very seldom has a novel this profound taken readers on a journey of such boundless entertainment and sheer fun.

$29.99(AUD)

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A hauntingly beautiful story of solitude, hope, family, and love that transcends, uplifts, carries the reader away. Dinaw Mengestu, author of ALL OUR NAMES Spaceman of Bohemia represents the fiery, funny launch of an exciting new voice. Jaroslav Kalfar, like a good literary astronaut, finds levity in gravity, and vice versa. Sam Lipsyte, New York Times bestselling author of The Ask Spaceman of Bohemia is an out-of-this-world look at all our beautiful smallnesses, from the cells of our biology to the bacterial minutiae of one broken heart. The roar of revolution and governmental injustice is cast against the depths of our emotions and the bottomless, grateful silence of the stars. Jaroslav Kalfar has spun an unforgettable tale, a poignant interplanetary work that collapses the distance between us with the beauty of its language and the unstoppable wonder of this universe he's created. Samantha Hunt, author of Mr. Splitfoot Spaceman of Bohemia is the best, most enjoyably heartbreaking, most fun book you'll read this year. On the surface, you'll see affinities with Gary Shteyngart, with The Martian, with Kelly Link. But Jaroslav Kalfar's voice is entirely his own. I beg you: take this strange, hilarious, profound, life-affirming trip into literary outer space. Darin Strauss, National Book Critics Circle Award winner for Half a Life

Jaroslav Kalfar was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic, and immigrated to the United States at the age of fifteen, speaking little to no English at that time but learning it by watching Cartoon Network. He graduated from University of Central Florida, where he received Frances R. Lefkowitz Scholarship, the Outstanding Fiction Writer award, and the Founder's Scholar Award for being the top graduate in the College of Arts and Humanities. He earned his M.F.A. at NYU, where he was a Goldwater Fellow and was one of the three nominees for the new NYU E.L. Doctorow Fellowship Award upon graduating. He is twenty-seven years old.

General Fields

  • : 9781473639973
  • : Hodder & Stoughton
  • : Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
  • : March 2017
  • : 216mm X 135mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : March 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : en
  • : 813.6
  • : 320
  • : Jaroslav Kalfar
  • : Paperback
  • : 1