The page of Ouředník, Patrik, English biography
Patrik Ouředník was born in Prague in 1957. His father was a doctor, his mother, who is French of Italian origin, was a teacher of French. Before leaving Czechoslovakia he was employed at various trades, including bookseller, warehouseman, postman and medical orderly. In 1985 he emigrated to Paris where he has lived ever since.
In France he has published a whole number of literary and socio-cultural essays and edited several publications, including the first French collection of studies about the Czech poet Vladimír Holan. He is a reader for the Robert Laffont publishing house and co-author of its Dictionnaire des auteurs and Dictionnaire des oeuvres litteraires; he also contributes to the Encyclopaedia Universalis. From 1988 to 1993 he gave lectures about Czech literature at the universities of Toulouse, Rennes and Carcassonne. Since 1986 he has been literary editor of the quarterly L’Autre Europe.
His publications in Czech include the prose works Rok čtyřiadvacet (Year Twenty-Four, 1995) and Europeana. Stručné dějiny dvacátého věku (Europeana. A brief history of the 20th century, 2001), a Rabelaisian pastiche entitled Pojednání o případném pití vína (Treatise on the appropriate drinking of wine, 1995), the poetry collections Anebo (Or, 1992) and Neřkuli (Let alone, 1996) and two dictionary-style works, Šmírbuch jazyka českého. Slovník nekonvenční češtiny (Rough-book of the Czech Language: A Dictionary of Unconventional Czech, 1988) and Aniž jest co nového pod sluncem. Slova, rčení a úsloví biblického původu (No New Thing Under the Sun: Words, Phrases and Sayings of Biblical Origin, 1994).
Europeana, Ouředník’s most successful title so far, has been voted Book of the Year 2001 in a large poll conducted by the newspaper Lidové Noviny.