As a young girl growing up in Prague, Dominika Dery danced with the National Ballet and National Theater companies, but was inspired to write by the Czech folk tales read to her by her mother. Her memoir, The Twelve Little Cakes, "flows with wisdom, wit, courage, and triumph," according to author Nicholas Sparks.
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Also Known As:
Sydney, NSW, Australia and Cernosice, Prague, Czech Republic
Date of Birth:
March 7, 1975
Place of Birth:
Prague, Czech Republic
State Conservatory of Prague, Czech Republic, and Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq, Paris, France
|Our Book Club Pick|
|The Twelve Little Cakes|
Czech author Dery offers an enchanting, courageous memoir of growing up in Cold War-era Czechoslovakia. This story of her life as the daughter of political dissidents on the outskirts of Prague is both a fascinating slice of history and a luminous portrait of childhood. Book clubs will find the enchantment of Dery's homeland impossible to resist.
See the Reading Group Guide
|A Memorable Moment|
|In our exclusive interview, Dery told us about a moment that changed her life: |
"It took me two years to complete The Twelve Little Cakes, writing and rewriting it, hoping and despairing until one day, I was about to catch the train from Cernosice to Prague when my ancient cell phone rang and a crisp American voice introduced herself as Theresa Park, the literary agent.
"My knees gave up and I almost collapsed under the train as it rattled into the station. There was a terrible screeching of brakes and I started to run away from the noise, jumping over the potholes and stirring the dust. This was one of the happiest moments in my life. I almost got run over by a car and squashed by a bus, but I continued running away from the trains, clinging to Theresa’s voice on the phone like a drowning person clings to a rope."
|Dery's Reading Recommendations|
We asked Dery to tell us about some of her favorite books of all time. She mentioned Ayn Rand's 1943 classic work, The Fountainhead, explaining that it "gave me courage to be myself and refuse to compromise my beliefs."
Dery also selected Richard Adams's poignant parable Watership Down as a favorite read. "[It] definitely changed my perspective on both nature and humans," she reflects. Read our interview with Dery to learn about more of her best-loved books, including:
|Photo by Alex Craig||