of Paul Wilson
WILSON is a writer, editor, radio producer and translator
of Czech literature.
in Ontario and educated at the University of Toronto and King's
College, University of London, England, he spent ten years
in Czechoslovakia (1967-1977) where he taught English and
learned Czech. He was eventually expelled by the Communist
government for his association with the dissident movement,
particularly for his involvement with the underground music
scene as a member of the legendary rock band, The Plastic
People of the Universe.
his return to Canada, he was active in promoting the work
of dissident writers and musicians during the remaining years
of totalitarianism. He founded a record company to publish
the music of The Plastic People and other Czech underground
musicians. He also began writing for magazines and became
a regular contributor to Shades, Books in Canada
and The Idler magazine and was distinguished for his
translations of Czech writers such as Josef Skvorecky Vaclav
Havel, Ivan Klima, and Bohumil Hrabal.
has contributed essays, articles and reviews to many North
American and European publications, including The New Yorker,
The New York Review of Books, the Globe and Mail,
The Toronto Star, the National Post and other
literary and general interest magazines. He was Associate
Editor of The Idler magazine from 1988 to 1992 and
Senior Editor of Saturday Night magazine from 1998
translations are also familiar to readers of the New Yorker,
Granta, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times
and The New York Review of Books. His translation of
The Engineer of Human Souls by Josef Skoverecky was
awarded the Governor General's Award for Fiction in 1984,
and his translation of Ivan Klima's My Golden Trades
was short-listed for the Independent newspaper's International
Translation Award in 1993. In 1994, in recognition of his
to Czech literature, he was invited to Prague as an honorary
guest of the International PEN Conference, coinciding with
the publication of his compilation of President Havel's most
recent book: Vaclav Havel: Toward a Civil Society. Selected
Speeches and Writings 1990-1994.
edited and translated the English edition of We Are Children
Just The Same, an anthology of writing from an underground
newspaper published by teenaged boys in the Nazi concentration
camp at Terezin, which won the National Jewish Book Award
in 1995. In the same year, he edited an acclaimed anthology
of short stories Prague: A Traveller's Literary Companion.
In 1996 he accompanied His Excellency Romeo Leblanc as cultural
advisor during the Governor General's official visit to Prague.
a radio journalist, he has written and produced several major
documentary series for CBC Radio, including, The Two Germanies
(1986), and, with Gwynne Dyer, a seven-hour series on The
Gorbachev Revolution (1989). He has worked as a producer
on three national radio shows, The Arts Tonight, Morningside,
and This Morning, where he produced interviews for
Shelagh Rogers, Eleanor Wachtel, Peter Gzowski, Avril Benoit,
Michael Enright and others.
recently, in 2001, he published his translation of Vaclav
Havel's play The Beggar's Opera (Cornell University
Press). He also translated the screenplay for the Anglo/Czech
film Dark Blue Sky, written and directed by Academy
Award winning Czech film makers, Jan and Zdenek Sverak, which
premiered at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.
is a Research Associate for the Centre for Russian and East
European Studies at the University of Toronto, where he has
been a guest lecturer, as well as at The Ryerson School of
Journalism and the Banff Magazine Workshop.
Paul Wilson is based in Toronto and Heathcote, Ontario, close
to Georgian Bay where, when time allows, he sails his Herreschof
H-28 and dreams of circumnavigating the globe.
and his wife and editorial assistant, Patricia, have three
children: Jake, a parliamentary intern in Ottawa, Miranda
who is studying music in California, and Gavin who practices
law in Calgary.