3-Day Books, 2008
About the Book
An inconsequential government worker finds himself swept into the mechanism of state oppression when the Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia. As his arrest-warrant signatures send thousands to their fate, a series of encounters with a priest, a prostitute and the ghosts of the disappeared forces him to face the fundamental choice between what is right and what is safe.
Working under the intense pressure of the 30th Anniversary edition of the 3-Day Novel Contest, John Kupferschmidt drew on the experiences of his parents and his grandparents to produce a powerful and truthful tale of human weakness and strength. In the Garden of Men was included in the Top Five First Fiction list of 2008 by the Globe and Mail.
About the Author
John Kupferschmidt took his inspiration for his winning novel from the experience of his parents, who came to Canada as refugees from the former Yugoslavia and the former Czechoslovakia. John studied International Development at McGill University, during which time he also worked at the Canadian Human Rights Commission in both Ottawa and Montreal. Following his studies, John twice travelled to Africa to work on housing projects in Tanzania and in a Liberian refugee camp.
Back home in Canada, he is now active in Habitat for Humanity and was a founding member of the Habitat Canada National Youth Council.
He was raised in Oakville, Ontario, and now lives and writes in Ottawa.
“…it seems to me that the three-day gauntlet forces instinct to the fore; in the absence of conceptual and rewrite time, the writerly subconscious drives things on. Kupferschmidt’s instincts have guided him flawlessly in this tough-minded and deeply moral look at the cost of being good in evil times.”
—the Globe and Mail
“Kupferschmidt writes about individual responsibility andcomplicity as he deftly combines the personal and political.”
“Kupferschmidt’s 3-Day Novel winner plunges us into Czechoslovakia as it reels from the Soviet takeover. It reads like a manuscript found in a Prague attic—Kafka meets Kundera.”
—the Globe and Mail