Information about the novel Thanksgiving and the autor
Odeon, June 2021, 560 pages (85 chapters)
At the end of the 2020’s, an illness called Thanksgiving deprives all men on the planet of their sexuality and ability to reproduce. Frantisek Zabrana, a Roman Catholic priest, finds out that he is immune to the illness. He falls in love with Marie, a psychotherapist, but she mysteriously disappears. The priest decides to look for her and asks for help from a young and peculiar sexton, Tomas. To save Marie, the priest must eventually enter the presidential campaign. After a series of blunders, he enters a showdown for the highest office.
“This picture is named The Hotel Room. It’s by the American painter Edward Hopper. You can’t mistake his work for anyone else’s – the rich colours, the strange mood, and especially the light. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at it?” asked Marie and waited. The room fell silent. “Anything that comes up. The question is simple, don’t worry about it,” she nagged the women.
“Ok, I’ll start!” Ivana Cuprova stood up abruptly and the tone of her voice seemed irritated and confrontational. “Who is Marie and why are we playing some stupid game about what we’re thinking?”
“My mistake! I should have told you more, but I thought of this as a surprise,” Frantisek raised his hands to at least partly blunt the mayor’s strike. “One thing at a time. Marie studied psychology and history of art and she’s very experienced in…”
“In what?” Cuprova interrupted him.
He pointed at the painting. “By the means of art, patients can learn to better understand what they feel, what they want, how to achieve peace of mind.”
“What do you mean by ‘patients,’ father? Are we in the parish house, or at a psychiatric clinic?” The mayor emphasized the latter.
“I’m sorry for the word ‘patients,’ that probably isn’t the right name for our community. On the other hand, we haven’t gathered here for fun,” Frantisek inhaled deeply and gestured to Marie not to interrupt his discourse with the mayor.
However, she didn’t take the hint.
Word of the author
Díkůvzdání concentrates on the level of relationships and emphasizes our weaknesses and anxieties, rather than external restrictions of personal freedom in the vein of Orwell. It is an intimate story about love and dealing with a crisis, but also about the fact that you cannot reach God by a motorway. It is the story of a desperate man who lives among miserable women. The story has social layers, extending from the point of a village to a town, to a capitol, and up to our whole sphere of civilization. Since I aimed to address both women and men, as well as readers of different age groups, I had to work on multiple levels. Some of these are single-minded and concrete, whereas others are fully metaphorical. I tried to narrate the story so that it makes sense to anyone from Europe, without being barred by geographical differences.
Václav Holanec, born in 1970. Graduated Film Studies at the Charles University, Prague.
From the year 1990, he wrote for newspapers and magazines, and since 2001 he has focused on screenwriting and literature. He wrote scripts for the TV films Stříbrná vůně mrazu (Silver Scent of Frost) and Malý terorista (The Little Terrorist), as well as for the miniseries Soukromé pasti (Private Traps), Nepolepšitelný (Incorrigible) and the fairytale Dům U Zlatého úsvitu (The House of the Golden Dawn). He co-authored several documentaries (for example, the series Národní klenoty (National Treasures)) and collaborated on the Universum encyclopedia.
He wrote the book 99 filmů moderní kinematografie (99 Films of Modern Cinematography) and started his career as a novelist with Herci (Actors, 2012).
2005 Český lev (Czech lion) – Sazka Award 2004 for non-filmed screenplay: Stříbrný Orfeus (The Silver Orpheus)
2008 Český lev (Czech lion) – Sazka Award 2007 for non-filmed screenplay: nominated
2012 Literární cena Knižního klubu (Book Club Literary Award) for the novel Herci (Actors)