The Other City

Michal Ajvaz

Michal Ajvaz: The Other City

Original title: Druhé město

Genre: novel


Mladá fronta 1993, Petrov 2005

ISBN: 80-7227-231-4

Pages: 172

Foreign editions:

Russian, Azbuka, 2004; Polish, Pogranicze, 2005; Hungarian, Kalligram, 2007; Slovenian, Cankarjeva Založba, 2009; English, Dalkey Archive Press, U.S.A.; 2009, Swedish, Aspekt Forlag, 2009; Serbian, Clio, 2011; Bulgarian, Stigmati, 2012; Norwegian, Bokvennen, 2012; Japanese, Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2013; Arabian, Al Shaar, Syria, 2014; French, Mirobole, 2015; Croatian, Ljevak, 2015; Italian, Atmosphere Libri, 2015; Macedonian, Bata Press, 2015; Turkish, Ayrinti, 2017; Albanian, Ombra, 2017; Korean, Happy Reading Books, 2018


This distinctive novel is set in various shadowy settings about Prague, such as the belfry of St. Nicholas’s church, Petřín hill, a Malá strana café, Café Slavia, and the large Klementinum historical library. These are the places where a lonely young man walks at the ghostly hours of night and where flashes of the symbolic Other City emerge mingled with the reality of old Prague. All this is veiled in a dreamy atmosphere, the mysterious contents of which draw the narrator like a moth to a flame.

Annotation of the English language publisher of the book (Dalkey Archive Press): 
In this strange and lovely hymn to Prague, Michal Ajvaz repopulates the city of Kafka with ghosts, eccentrics, talking animals, and impossible statues, all lurking on the peripheries of a town so familiar to tourists. The Other City is a guidebook to this invisible, "other Prague," overlapping the workaday world: a place where libraries can turn into jungles, secret passages yawn beneath our feet, and waves lap at our bedspreads. Heir to the tradition and obsessions of Jorge Luis Borges, as well as the long and distinguished line of Czech fantasists, Ajvaz's Other City—his first novel to be translated into English—is the emblem of all the worlds we are blind to, being caught in our own ways of seeing.

The English translation of the book The Other City has ranked as the 6th most recommended book for the year 2009 in the editor´picks for sci-fi and fantasy kategory on Amazon, more details here:

More books from the author