Egon Hostovsky (1908-1973) was the youngest of eight children in a Jewish family in Czechoslovakia. When the Germans occupied the country, he fled the country and ended up in New York, where he worked at the exiled Czechoslovakian government's consulate. He is one of the authors who shaped Czech literature during the inter-war period, and who helped give form to the emergence of Central European literature represented by writers such as Franz Kafka, Joseph Roth and Stefan Zweig (he and Zweig were cousins).
A superb writer Milan Kundera The Hideout is important as an encouraging example of a new spiritual trend in European literature Free World A remarkable novel... As absorbing reading it matches any popular novel, yet it does so without the customary devices The New Masses Hostovsky delights in discoveries of the depths and oddities, the strange courses and subtle transformations of human souls... A forceful language rich in images adds to the pleasure of reading Saturday Review Whether charting transient freedom in Paris, "city of light rustlings, of sweetly secret speech, of blue grayness", or chronicling inner turmoil, this overlooked classic is both beautiful and intense Glasgow Herald Hostovsky (The Arsonist), a Jewish Czech writer and distant relative of Stefan Zweig, explores madness, heroism, and salvation in this intense, dreamlike novella... This captivating novella dramatizes one man's existential conflict within the larger, worldwide conflagration Publishers Weekly A dark firecracker of a book... tantalisingly knitting together the philosophical novel, the existential thriller, the spy romance and the noir war story... a real find Bookanista