Waiting For The Dark, Waiting For The Light

Ivan Klima

Published: 10 September 1998
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 240 pages
ISBN: 9781862071018

Translated by Paul Wilson


Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light describes life before, during and after the cataclysm of 1989, the so-called Velvet revolution. It is the story of Pavel, a middle-aged television cameraman working uneasily within the boundaries set by the regime, who dreams of one day making a film- an uncut portrait of his times- the authorities will never allow. But after the collapse of communism, Pavel finds he is unprepared for this new world of supposedly unlimited freedoms.

About the author

Image of Ivan Klima

Ivan Klima was born in 1931 in Prague, where he now lives, and was editor of the journal of the Czech Writers' Union during the Prague Spring. He is the author of many plays, stories and novels, including Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light, The Ultimate Intimacy and My Golden Trades, and a non-fiction book, The Spirit of Prague, all of which are published by Granta Books. His work, which is now published worldwide, was once banned in his own country. More about the author


‘Although the book is about the Czech experience, it is of universal import. Klima has some searingly truthful things to say about the wretchedness of human mediocrity, but with its hint of surrealism and its wonderful black humour, it is immensely enjoyable.’



‘Klima's achievement lies in his human understanding of moral confusions and his sympathetic rendering of them, and especially in his ability to question while avoiding the polemical... an adroit, intelligent exploration of what happens when the impossible is won, only to be found wanting.’ Eileen Battersby

‘This is a very good novel. Klima writes of uncertainly with authority, an authority all the greater because it does not pretend to offer answers.’ Alan Massie

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