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Jáchym Topol

áchym Topol was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, to Josef Topol, Czech playwright, poet, and translator of Shakespeare, and Jiřina Topolová, daughter of the famous Czech Catholic writer Karel Schulz.

Topol's writing began with lyrics for the rock band Psí vojáci, led by his younger brother, Filip, in the late '70s and early '80s. In 1982, he cofounded the samizdat magazine Violit, and in 1985 Revolver Revue, a samizdat review that specialized in modern Czech writing.

Because of his father's dissident activities, Topol was not allowed to go to university. After graduating from gymnasium he worked as a stoker, stocker, construction worker, and coal deliveryman. Several times he was imprisoned for short periods, both for his samizdat publishing activities and for his smuggling across the Polish border in cooperation with members of Polish Solidarity. He was also a signatory of the Charter 77 human rights declaration.

During the 1989 Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, Topol wrote for the independent newsletter Informační servis, which later became the investigative weekly Respekt. As of October 2009, he was on the staff of the daily Lidové noviny.

He currently lives in Prague with his wife, Barbara, and their two daughters, Josefína and Marie.

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