Jan Drabek His Doubtful Excellency previous next   Ekstasis Editions

In His Doubtful Excellency: A Canadian Novelist’s Adventure’s as President Havel’s Ambassador, Czech-Canadian author, Jan Drabek, regails the reader with the escapades of an artist pressed into diplomatic service. When, after the fall of communism, his former schoolmate, playwright Vaclav Havel, becomes president of the Czech Republic, Drabek is named ambassador and chief of protocol, welcoming dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth and Pope John Paul II. First published in Czech as Po Usi v Postkommunismu (Up To My Ears in Post-Communism), Drabek’s poignant memoir of a pivotal moment in a changing global landscape has been a bestseller in Czechoslavakia. “Drabek’s story of our times is in places full of humour, but also coloured by nostalgia over his loss of illusions...” wrote one reviewer. Adapted and translated by Drabek, author of 11 previous novels, His Doubtful Excellency takes an ironic view of post-communist Czech society, where corruption is rampant, “but somehow improved since it’s now 'democratic corruption.’” Drabek also includes interviews with Vaclav Havel and the present Czech leader, Vaclav Klaus. His Doubtful Excellency reveals one man’s experience of political atlas in flux as well as an entertaining glimpse below the smooth surface of diplomacy, when Popes and Queens come to visit.

Jan Drabek is the author of eleven novels including the acclaimed Report on the Death of Rosenkavalier ( M. & S.). His memoir of early years, Thirteen was published by Caitlin Press. Born in Czechoslovakia, Jan Drabek returned there in 1990 to teach English, and ended up an ambassador under president Vaclav Havel. He now lives and writes in Vancouver, BC.

ISBN 978-1-894800-87-7
220 Pages
6 x 9
Now available