Ways of Writing about Love

By Jan Němec

A novel written from the wreckage of a relationship while reconsidering ways of writing about love. In “Ways of Writing about Love” Jan Němec exposes himself in an unprecedented manner as he examines the beginning, middle and end of a six-year relationship – his own. The book, which emerged from the need to understand what went wrong with him and his girlfriend, shows how the death of a relationship can spill over into the birth of a novel as a kind of self-preserving literary reincarnation. “Ways of Writing about Love” is enhanced by various narrative tricks and techniques, allusions to iconic works of prose, extracts from letters and news reports. This intimate and slightly controversial novel, where the author, narrator and central character meld into one, breaks all the rules of narration, testing the forms which prose can take.

Jan Němec is a poet and prose writer, recipient of the European Union Prize for Literature (2014) and the Czech Book Award (2014). He was also nominated for a Magnesia Litera (2014) in the prose category and the Josef Škvorecký Award (2014). He has also been nominated for the Jiří Orten Award (2010). His works have been published (or the rights sold) in nine different languages including Italian, Polish, Arabic and Hungarian.


“The author offers the reader a sophisticated game with genre: a true literary experiment which is rare in Czech literature.”

—Deník N

“This novel about love and writing in the age of digital sadness emerged from the ruins of a relationship lasting more than five years.”