of Paul Wilson
WILSON is a freelance writer, editor, radio producer and translator.
in Ontario and educated at the University of Toronto and King's
College, University of London, England, he spent ten years
in Czechoslovakia (1967-1977) where he taught English and
learned Czech. He was eventually expelled by the Communist
government for his association with the dissident movement,
particularly for his involvement with the underground music
scene as a member of the legendary rock band, The Plastic
People of the Universe.
his return to Canada, he was active in promoting the work
of dissident writers and musicians during the remaining years
of totalitarianism. With Ivan Hartel, he founded a record company, called Bozi Mlyn, to publish
the recorded music of The Plastic People and other Czech underground
musicians. He also began writing for magazines and became
a regular contributor to Shades, Books in Canada
and The Idler magazine and was distinguished for his
translations of Czech writers such as Josef Skvorecky, Vaclav
Havel, Ivan Klima, and Bohumil Hrabal.
has contributed essays, articles and reviews to many North
American and European publications, including The New Yorker,
The New York Review of Books, the Globe and Mail,
The Toronto Star, the National Post. He was associate
editor of The Idler magazine from 1988 to 1992, senior editor of Saturday Night magazine from 1998
to 2001, review editor of the National Post from 2001-2003, and he contributed to the founding of The Walrus magazine in 2003 as Deputy Editor and Editor
until his resignation in 2004.
translations are also familiar to readers of the New Yorker,
Granta, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times
and The New York Review of Books. His translation of
The Engineer of Human Souls by Josef Skoverecky was
awarded the Governor General's Award for Fiction in 1984,
and his translation of Ivan Klima's My Golden Trades
was short-listed for the Independent newspaper's International
Translation Award in 1993.
edited and translated the English edition of We Are Children
Just The Same, an anthology of writing from an underground
newspaper published by teenaged boys in the Nazi concentration
camp at Terezin, which won the National Jewish Book Award
in 1995. In the same year, he edited an acclaimed anthology
of short stories Prague: A Traveller's Literary Companion.
a radio journalist, he has written and produced several major
documentary series for CBC Radio, including, The Two Germanies
(1986), and, with Gwynne Dyer, a seven-hour series on The
Gorbachev Revolution (1989). He has worked as a producer
on three CBC national radio shows, The Arts Tonight, Morningside,
and This Morning, where he produced interviews for
Shelagh Rogers, Eleanor Wachtel, Peter Gzowski, Avril Benoit,
Michael Enright and others.
In 2001, he published his translation of Vaclav
Havel's play The Beggar's Opera (Cornell University
Press). He also translated the screenplay for the Anglo/Czech
film Dark Blue World , written and directed by Academy
Award winning Czech film makers, Jan and Zdenek Sverak, which
premiered at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.
He is currently (April, 2006) working on a new translation of The Memorandum, an early play by Vaclav Havel, and a translation of Havel's latest book, a memoir of his experiences as president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. He is also working on a memoir of his own.
Paul Wilson now spends most of his time, with his wife and editorial assistant, Patricia, in Heathcote, Ontario, close
to Georgian Bay where, when time allows, he sails his Herreschof
and Patricia have three
children: Jake, Miranda, and Gavin.