Ján Johanides

photo of Jan Johanides by Peter Prochazka

photo Peter Procházka

Ján Johanides (1934–2008) was one of the most original writers of Slovak and Czechoslovak postwar literature. Born in northern Slovakia, he studied art history and aesthetics at Comenius University in Bratislava and subsequently worked as a company psychologist in a television manufacturing plant, as an administrator of the Slovak Writers’ Union, in the culture department of the Bratislava city administration, and at the Institute of Art Criticism and Theatre Documentation. After 1972, he lived in the southwestern Slovak town of Šaľa, where he devoted his time to his literary career. A prolific author, he published over 20 novels, novellas and short story collections between 1963 and 2005, garnering awards and critical acclaim for his psychologically incisive and stylistically accomplished works. But Crime Does Punish (Trestajúci zločin, 1995) is one several books written after the Velvet Revolution, in which he grappled with the painful legacy of the country’s totalitarian past. It is the first book by Ján Johanides to appear in an English translation.

Available in English

front cover of Jan Johanides – But Crime Does Punish

But Crime Does Punish

translated by

Julia and Peter Sherwood

© Mullek and Sherwood