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The Fifth Dimension
The Fifth Dimension

The Fifth Dimension

Translated by Hana Sklenkova, By Martin Vopenka


283 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $20.95)

Publication Date: October 2016

ISBN 9781909954083

Rights: US & CA

Barbican Press (Oct 2016)

Price: $16.95


A contemporary classic from the Czech Republic. To support his family, a man submits himself to a solo science experiment in the High Andes. A cosmic adventure story of big ideas and murder. Your business is dead. It seems like a deal – leave your family behind in Prague for a year, isolate yourself in a research station in the Andes, and come home with a fortune. With a treatise on black holes for company, Jakob settles in at altitude. The air is thin. Strangers pass by on dangerous pilgrimage while his young wife and kids take life in his mind. In mountain starkness, the big questions take shape – like what happens to love inside a black hole?

Author Biography

Hana Sklenkova, born in Zamberk in the Czech Republic, has a Creative Writing MA from Plymouth University and is currently working on her first novel, an excerpt from which appeared in the Czech Issue of The Edinburgh Review in 2010. She was awarded a Playwright Development Bursary from the Theatre Royal Plymouth, was a finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition and her play was featured at the Hidden City Festival. Her novella was awarded first prize in The New Writer Prose and Poetry Prizes and was published in the magazine's special annual edition, The Collection in 2011. She lives in Plymouth. Martin Vopenka was born in Prague in 1963. The son of a famous mathematician, he studied nuclear and physical engineering at Charles University, Prague, but was always intent on being a writer. His first novel, Kamany s Hov, was published in 1989. His second was translated as Ballad of Descent for North Western University Press in 1995, as part of their WRITINGS FROM UNBOUND EUROPE series. Choice wrote of that book, 'Vopenka manages this material with a deft and compellingly simple control of sentences that is reminiscent of both Kafka and Kundera. The book is really superb.' Perhaps because of his Jewish origins he views the contemporary world with caution, sensitivity and scepticism. He has written six novels for adults and four for young people, and seeks inspiration in the mountains (for example, he visited Antarctica, Chile, Argentina, Kirghizia). He won the 2016 Golden Ribbon Award. The themes he explores in his books go beyond the local themes of much Czech literature. He contributes polemic articles to the national daily paper MF Dnes. In 1997 and 2012 he was a guest at the Prague Writers Festival. He is a member of the Czech PEN Club and chairman of the Association of Czech Publishers. He lives in Prague with his wife Anna and their four children.