Empty Streets

Empty Streets

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By Michal Ajvaz

Translated by Andrew Oakland

ISBN: 9781564787002

Publication Date: 3/25/2016

In a junkyard on the outskirts of Prague, a painter stumbles across a mysterious wooden object. As he begins to notice the object’s strange shape reproduced in various places around the city, he realizes that it holds the key to uncovering the truth about the recent disappearance of a young girl. His attempts to understand the meaning of the object bring him into contact with an array of characters, and the stories they tell him widen the vortex of uncertainty that the object has opened. Will the increasingly intricate web of clues eventually lead him to the truth? Empty Streets is both a thrilling fantasy and a philosophical meditation on the search for meaning in modern life.


“Michal Ajvaz is a literary magician creating worlds of worlds, worlds of words, worlds of objects. He is the fantastical baby of Borges and Timothy Leary. He is a cartographer on mescaline. He is Czech.” Salonica

"A remarkably creative, joyfully strange work." Asymptote

"Easy . . . to read through with rapt attention." Kirkus Reviews

Biographical Information

Michal Ajvaz was born in 1949 in Prague, his father was a Crimean Karaim and his mother was an Austrian Czech. He published eight works of fiction and also an essay on Jacques Derrida, a book about Edmund Husserl’s philosophy, as well as a book-length meditation on Jorge Luis Borges called The Dreams of Grammars, the Glow of Letters and a philosophical study, Jungle of Light: Meditations on Seeing. He was awarded Jaroslav Seifert ́s Prize and Magnesia Litera Prize. His books of fiction have been published in fifteen languages.

Andrew Oakland's translations include Radka Denemarková's Money from Hitler, Martin Reiner's No Through Road, Michal Ajvaz's The Golden Age, and the autobiography of architect Josef Hoffmann.