Petra Soukupová

Petra Soukupová was born in 1982 in Česká Lípa, Czechoslovakia. In 2008 she completed her studies in Screenwriting and Dramaturgy at Prague’s Film Academy, FAMU. Her first book, »K moři« (tr: The Sea), was published in 2007. In 2008 she began to write a screenplay loosely based on the motifs of the book with the director Karin Babinská, for which filming will begin in 2011. Her second book »Zmizet« (tr: Disappearance), a cycle of three novels, was published in 2009. Until recently she was still working as a scriptwriter for the Czech TV series »Comeback«.

Already Soukupová’s debut »K moři« broached the issue of communication between interconnected people and their consequences. During a family’s summer vacation, set against the backdrop of sand, sea and sunburn, various expectations and small disasters culminate which do not affect the protagonists, as each is primarily concerned with himself. Initially the simultaneous dissecting as well as the merging views of the author make possible the perception of the many misunderstandings and their devastating meaning for the individuals as well as the group. Also in her novella volume »Zmizet« (2009) Petra Soukupová writes about families that »live somehow. It is not always bad, but is seldom good.« The decision to tell the two stories from the perspective of a child allows the readers an intimate glimpse into the drama of identity. The subtle nature of the description of seemingly insignificant conflicts, which actually manifest a threatening resonance inside the characters, creates a dense atmosphere. The author proves her amazing empathy here once again, without – thanks to her cool, descriptive style – ever slipping into sentimentality.

For her fist novel »K moři« Soukupová received the Jiří Orten Prize for young writers and was nominated for the Magnesia Literature Prize in the category of prose. The script won the first prize in the competition of the Barrandov Foundation & RWE. She was awarded the Magnesia Litera major Czech Prize for the best book of 2009 for her work »Zmizet«. Another screenplay, based on her story »Na krátko« (tr: Short Haircut) was awarded third place at the Sazka competition for unrealized screenplays. She now plans to write a third book. Petra Soukupová lives in Prague.