Books - English

... a few words about him

Zdenek Hanka Czech writing author. His real name is Zdenek Šťastný, born January 20, 1956 in Uherské Hradiště, from his school years had lived in Prague, since 1999 has been living in Canada. Z.H. started his writing during his student years with small stories. Short stories Talking to the Skies, which have never been published, were based on his own climbing activities. Z.H. chose to study Medicine, and after graduation he worked in a regional hospital in Northern Bohemia, and later at a top specialized clinic in Prague as a Neonatal specialist and in research.  During this period of time Z.H. completed and presented papers on “Chemiluminiscence in Low-Birth-Weight Infants”, “Testing of Virulence of Certain Bacterial Strains in vitro” and “Influence of E. coli Bacterial Strains to Low-Birth-Weight Newborns” and presented research findings at the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome, Italy. In 1991 he accepted a position of Chief Executive Officer and Head Physician of a major medical facility in Prague, Czech Republic, he lectured at the School for Registered Nurses, held his lectures at Medical Faculty of Charles University and was a member of the editorial board of the popular magazine for healthy lifestyle. In early nineties Z.H. was handpicked by the PEERS / USA for a special postgraduate training in the College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, USA focused on Management in Healthcare and became a Honorary member of American Public Health Association and a Honorary citizen of Tuscon, Arizona. In addition to his professional work as an Instructor for St. John Ambulance he also works for the Czech School in Calgary and is Chair of Cultural Committee of the Czech Business Association in Canada.

Circumstances later introduced him to Canada. The story of Swing for the Heart (inkitt) is partially based on author’s personal experience, though not an autobiography in a documentary sense. Besides Zdenek Hanka’s own books, he translated from English thriller Twilight by Peter James, (Příšeří, Naše Vojsko 1993) and together with Marie Koubová translated Gladstar Rosemary’s book, Herbal Healing for Women, (Přírodní léčba pro ženy, Eminent 1995).

... a new book

  see below. Yes, very, very below...

... a few words about his books


Vezu kozu na povozu (Got a Goat on the Road) Lynx, 2019 This time, the author has loaded a goat onto his carriage or whatever is that. However, there is very little information about the animal in this book. Let's be frank, this is the only good information can be shared about it. If you really want to know more, you have to contact the goat yourselves and to talk to it directly.


Vezu husu v autobusu (Got a Duck in a Truck) Lynx, 2014 A completely new and unique work from the creative mind of Zdenek Hanka. The book Got a duck in a truck is not readily accessible for purchase just anywhere, but, given the right circumstances, it could find its way into readers' hands. In either case; if we accept the author's existing works as his outer coat, consider this piece his underlining. But maybe it's vice versa. Perhaps it's in the pages of this thin book that we can find the condensed truth and surprising face of Zdenek Hanka.


Vezu ovce na lanovce (Got a Sheep on a Zip) Lynx, 2019 a collection of thrilling stories put into verses about unexpected events around us. So buckle up your seatbelts and let's go.


Horečka ostrova Zang (Fever on the Zang Island) 2014  A scientific genius on a far-off island in the Pacific is working on a project, whose realization could have far-reaching impact. The team of laboratory assistants, who are collaborating on this project, have no idea that the end goal is criminal. Determination, cunningness and grit are the only means that a number of individuals have to stop his mad attempt. The story of the island Zang presents unusual, yet realistic presentation of what can happen to science when it encounters a wrong turn. The story is accompanied by representative illustrations by Alena Travnickova. Even though the book is meant for youth, its message reaches beyond the limits of generational gaps.


Fortissimo  (Fortissimo) 2014 This thriller intended for children is unusual not only in its genre but also its ‘criminal’ plot. On the side of ‘good’ stand seemingly inanimate objects such as toys and musical instruments, which come to life as they combine their forces to fight evil. The line between reality and mystery fiction is poignantly imperceptible and represents a novel direction in children’s literature. Excellent illustrations by Alena Travnickova augment the attractiveness of the entire story, which undoubtedly fills a gap in any child’s library.


Hry a hrátky se zvířátky (Fun and Play with Animals), Albatros 2013, A book full of rhymes about animals. This book was borne out of the author's initiative to support the Czech Fund for Children in Need. Illustrations for individual poems were created by children from Klokanek children's associations.


Kavárna (Café), Mezera 2009;  Author inflected an exceptional ability to see auras into a real life. Surface lines describe certain hardships of who sees auras, while a paralel line depicts the vicious and to the public invisible development of a selfish and ruthless egoist. The novel, however, conceals a deeper and highly ethical mission. Forces to think about the biases and confounding in the assessment of external human features. Seemingly not-answered questions finally induce the reader to ask whether a hidden monstrosity is contagious or is it vice versa strength and natural power of a positive sort of values that can affect their surroundings. The author’s conclusion does not provide an easy and straightforward shelling, but offers its readers a disturbing logic challenge.


Zoologická zahrádka (A Little Zoo), Zora 1992,  Verses about pets for children. The book is stamped in Braille characters and the author of it devoted them to children with visual impairments.


Léčitelé jak je neznáte (Healers How You Do Not Know Them), Eminent, 1991 Joint work of Jiří Kuchař and Z.H. The authors, who are personal friends of life, created a complementary tandem, to meet with people who have gained fame in the field of alternative medicine and healing. Jiří Kuchař, originally professional Engineer of Geology is well-founded expert in an alternative approach to a patient, Zdeněk Hanka is a Medical Doctor, often reaching very sensitive issues that are at the heart of many readers. The common creed of authors was not to present their own views, but allow to healers to introduce themselves. The book is timeless in its content and its impact on the reader’s tolerance, humility and respect on either side. On the other hand wants to draw attention to the participation of their own common sense and sound reasoning in approach to their own health.


Lék pod kůží (Underskin Drug), Mladá Fronta 1988; A set of four short stories from the medical environment. Throw a Net over me shows the development of psychopathic personality from the perspective of the patient himself. Opportunity is a story of the eternal underdog, standing before a great discovery. Underskin Drug Story on the background of conflict between two views of medical talk about tolerance. Ivanka, as well as audio book performed by Richard Honzovič, describes the strenght of public opinion against individuals. All four stories are unexpectedly pointed. Story Underskin Drug was adapted for the Czechoslovak television by writer Eduard Verner.


Uspávanka (Lullaby), Gemma 1992; Small book in hand, determined to suspend ‘non-sleeper’ adults. Kind words and thoughtful construction of each chapter make a reader to fall asleep and dream without help of tablets. Author remembers with a smile, while working on the editorial text, he kept falling asleep himself . The book was accompanied by impressive illustrations of Nadja Rawová. Afterword by Dr. Jaroslava Dittrichová, Ph.D., a highly respected authority in the field. The book has been also recorded on cassettes, which were published by AK Productions.


Vila v Rokli (Villa in the Ravine), Žaket 1994,  The set of three stories with an absurd psychological twist. Villa in the Ravine is a horror-themed story from a real life. Once upon a Time is based on the author’s familiarity with scientific and professional publishing. The story of escaping the ridiculous case within the meaning of what if. The Third Story The Sicilian defense is playing with the participation of books on domestic medicine in the treatment of hypochondriac.


Platina (Platinum), Mezera 2010,  Line two independent stories intersect at a crucial moment. The story comes from real and everyday situations, but they are moving out of this. The reader wonders where the story departs from reality. Both keep alarmingly forcing readers to reach their meeting. The story makes a reader even after closes the book thinking about the irreversibility of time and a single critical second.


   Partitura pro srdce  (Swing for the Heart) Mezera 2010; in English Inkitt; translated by Zuzana Wilcox, PhD, The story of a successful doctor, who is forced  to go abroad and move across the ocean, while leaving a scalpel, but not belief in himself behind. "A man learns about himself at the point, when he is forced to stand on very edge, looking into the eyes of a threat. The reins of control are nowhere to be found."


Hedvábný řetěz (Silk chain), Mezera 2010 A sensitively written story coinciding with the theme of bullying and a child's life, which became the target of senseless intrigues. Although the author does not exceed the limit programming capacity, reliable story grabs the heart and makes the reader think about the indifference. While the adults keep their complicated match, one side of the dodgy practices, driven by seeking prestige and on the other hand, full of stubbornly defense children linear perspective gives insight into children's thinking and seemingly helpless search formeaning and solutions. Credibility and persuasive discussions of adult perceptions of children’s knowledge classifies the novel as a book for anyone, regardless of age.


Ticho nemá ozvěnu (Silence Has No Echo, Alpress 2018),The story unravels two discrete plot-lines, which share and intersect through the idea of the “Internet.” The fundamental ‘blindness’ of each story-line turns out to be critical, as it triggers a sequence of unexpected events. The plot stems out of the author’s knowledge of the North-American environment, and even though Hanka avoids using actual facts, he leaves no doubt that the story may be based on elements of truth.  


Dopis do ticha (Letter to Silence); Alpress 2016  The psychological drama of unfaithfulness is examined from the point of view of all its participants, characters who are depicted in vivid colors and allow the reader to gain a full understanding of each of them. The chapters are interleaved with letters to a card-reader who, with a frightening accuracy, describes imminent events even as her metaphors are being rejected. The tale takes place in a hospital environment that is well familiar to the author. The truthfulness of the characters and the masterfully created setting wholly absorb the reader.  


Libreto pro pantomimu aneb Od krbu ke krbu a potom do krbu (Libretto for a Pantomime),  A mosaic of short stories and unusual, light-handedly written, poetry that the author classifies as “literary hors d’oeuvres.”  In his collection, Hanka caters to a variety of tastes, so each reader will surely find his own “one-bite snack.” 


Severně od šedesáté páté (North of Sixty-Five), Triton 2015;  A gripping story from the life of emergency rescue workers in the Canadian North, with a dramatic and highly realistic plot-line.  The progressively intensifying tale is based on the author’s knowledge of both the Canadian North and the work of medical emergency personnel in extreme conditions. The question of how much ‘truth’ is captured in the story is left up to the reader to decide. The novel is illustrated with photographs from the author’s own personal archive.   


Zrcadlo v mlze (Mirror in the Mist),  A two-part handwritten diary was found under the seat of a long-distance international tour bus. The entries, which are included verbatim, are those of a 13-year-old student. The story is a direct coverage of the dramatic search for the diary’s author, in the words of the diary’s finder, Z. Halas, PhD.Given the age of the diary’s author, this book is targeting readers between the ages 10 and 15, in particular.It should also be noted that Zdenek Hanka finished Mirror in the mist in February 2008.   Illustrations by Pavlína Kunešová.

Ploutve, křídla, kopyta (Fins, Wings, Hooves) A compilation of 30 whimsical rhymes for children about animals and their mischievous adventures. The book provides a loose continuation of its predecessor, the critically acclaimed Fun and Play with Animals, the proceeds from which were donated to the Association for Endangered Children.


Střípek malachitu (Shard of a Malachite), Alpress 2017 A tragic traffic accident forces people, who live on opposite poles of society, to immerse themselves deeply into each other's worlds. A mix of lies and truths, hatred and love, coincidences and plans are the moving parts of this drama on both sides of the playing field. No one will be left questioning the logical and realistic storyline, despite its absurdities sprinkled throughout. The lively story draws readers in with its real-life psychological ambivalence, wherein readers are unable to differentiate the blurry lines between a villain and hero; wherein serious story lines intermingle with comedic ones.  The provocative and titillating ending is true to Hanka's style.


Tajemství pod Duhovákem, (The Secrets of Rainbowhill) Pikola 2018,  A playful tale about four little adventurers and explorers who leave the comforts of their fairy kingdom to travel around the world. Their endless imagination can get them out of various quagmires! The story doesn't lack humour and is meant for school-age readers. Imaginative illustrations by Marketa Vydrova bring this magical journey to life.  

 ... a few words about Perseverance

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt