The British writer Simon Mawer will talk about his latest book Prague Spring, a complex love story set amid the drama of 1968, and his fascination with Czech history. Mawer's novel Mendel´s Dwarf, inspired by Gregor Mendel, one of the fathers of genetics and the abbot of a Brno monastery, was followed by another Brno story, the Man Booker Prize shortlisted The Glass Room revolving around Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's famous Villa Tugendhat. With Prague Spring Mawer transfers his focus to Prague and the period of the Soviet-led invasion in August 1968, once again poignantly capturing the lives of people who are caught up in the wheels of history. Chaired by David Vaughan.
It’s the summer of 1968, the year of love and hate, of Prague Spring and Cold War winter. Two English students, Ellie and James, have just hitchhiked their way to Prague, where Alexander Dubcek’s ‘socialism with a human face’ is smiling on the world. Meanwhile Sam Wareham, a first secretary at the British embassy in Prague, is observing developments in the country with a mixture of diplomatic cynicism and a young man’s passion. Accompanied by his Czech girlfriend Lenka, Sam finds a way into the world of Czechoslovak youth, its hopes and its ideas. It seems that, for the first time, nothing is off limits behind the Iron Curtain. Yet the wheels of politics are grinding in the background. The Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev is making demands of Dubcek and the Red Army is massed on the borders. How will the looming disaster affect those fragile lives caught up in the invasion?
Times: 19:00 - 21:00
Admission: £5 + booking fee
The cinema is accessible through the reception of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London, 26 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY. Please note the entrance is on Bayswater Road.
Please note that the venue is not accesible to wheelchair users!