During the wave of mass arrests that afflicted the Communist countries of Eastern Europe under Stalin a few years after the Second World War, Jirí Mucha, one of Czechoslovakia's best known writers, suddenly found himself in prison. After months of solitary confinement he was sentenced to six years in prison.
This book is the diary he kept during the first year of his sentence, served working in a coal mine. It was written at intervals in small notebooks kept hidden down the pit and smuggled out page by page by a friendly miner.
It is a shocking but surprisingly humorous account of life under a harsh regime, a life he shared with men of all backgrounds and every type of political and non-political offence. The picture he gives us is of a humanity reduced to its elements through deprivation and suffering but which, through it all, retains the joy of life itself.
LIVING AND PARTLY LIVING was first published in 1967 but has not been in print since then.