Alex Zucker

Translator from Czech

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan


Alex Zucker is a translator from Czech. He also works in editing and nonprofit communications.

His most recent publication is an essay, “O Pioneer! Michael Henry Heim and the Politics of Czech Literature in English Translation,” in the composite biography The Man Between: Michael Henry Heim and a Life in Translation, ed. Esther Allen, Sean Cotter, and Russell Scott Valentino, out in October 2014 from Open Letter Books.

His most recent translation, The Devil’s Workshop by Jáchym Topol (Portobello Books), received an English PEN Award for Writing in Translation, the Typographical Translation Award, and was named to the Fiction Longlist for the Best Translated Book Award.

Earlier this year, he created new subtitles for the digitally restored version of Closely Watched Trains, the 1966 classic based on the Bohumil Hrabal novella, which premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in July 2014.

Current translation projects include the novels Innocence, or, Murder on Steep Street by Heda Margolius Kovály (Soho Press), Love Letter in Cuneiform by Tomáš Zmeškal (Margellos World Republic of Letters at Yale University Press), and Midway on Our Life’s Journey by Josef Jedlička (Karolinum Press).

In addition, Alex is coediting a volume on genocide and mass atrocity prevention, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

He lives and works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Selected Works

“. . . should help to cement Jáchym Topol’s reputation as one of the most original and compelling European voices at work today.”
Times Literary Supplement
“. . . a gleeful skewering of the Czech national character and a character-rich, dialogue-sassy send-up colored by a lingering Communist legacy.”
Publishers Weekly
“. . . an acutely observed account — compelling despite its grimness — of the lives of its semi-nomadic subjects.”
Times Literary Supplement