Jozef Imrich

My name is Jozef Imrich and I welcome one and all storytellers to probably some of the hungriest stories in the world ... hunger for freedom, hunger for life, and all kinds of hunger for travel.

The memories of my homeland always come flooding back. I grew up loving the world of Slavic imagination. As a child, stories had the ability to take me places I never dreamed I would explore in my reality. As an adult, I had no idea that I could be in this much pain and not die. My aim is to leave my small Bohemian-Antipodean accent for future generations in the hope that the lessons learned from the Iron Curtain experience are not forgotten. Like many other exiles, I came through seven gates of hell to eventually witness the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Jozef connects his achievements with getting across the most dangerous border crossing in the world, the Iron Curtain. However, nothing gets better than the recent publications of Jozef’s short stories such as ?Strictly Iron Curtain: One Man Survives the Crossing,? and ?The Wisdom of Pastor Martin Niem?ller? and ?Funeral of Youth.? All three featured as ’stories of the day? in several different publications. These short stories are based on Jozef’s forthcoming book "Cold River: A Tale From The Heart.? The book was written over a twenty year period, six months of that full time. Jozef brings to his writing many years of experience as a researcher in the parliamentary environment where his professional life was pulled in two or three directions. He draws on those experiences in adding realism to his storylines. Jozef’s storylines appeared in many samizdat magazines and underground e-zines.

For many, many, years Jozef wondered whether he should get his story of escape published or not and so did not take his writing very seriously for a long time. After his visit to Czechoslovakia in 1997, the year of twentieth anniversary of Charter 77, there was no doubt that this is what he had to do with his story. Messages come in all forms and Jozef’s came from his daughter Sasha: ?Why did you leave grandma??and strange quotes such as: ?you must do the thing you think you cannot do ...? ?When it’s important, always tell yourself anything is possible if you believe it can happen.?

In weeks & months to come, Jozef will focus on explaining some of the various breathing characters with lives that extend beyond the page in a little more detail for you. Like all survivors, Jozef learnt that he could withstand a lot of pain and disappointment and not just survive it but rise above it. Jozef also learnt that no matter how many rejections you get today, acceptance is still a distinct possibility for tomorrow, or if not tomorrow, the day after that. When unknown survivor and savvy publisher turn courageous, they sometimes bond and give birth to a story.

 February 20, 2005

Thank You Jozef Imrich!

This morning, I woke up with a reinvigorated cold and sore throat from a germ that should have left me by now. I checked email, and the first I saw, was a gentle reminder from our new publisher that we will need to complete our manuscript Aug. 31, a month earlier than we had planned.

I contemplated going back to bed for a few days.

Then, I read a poetic and encouraging note from Jozef Imrich, whose posted comment was like giving blood--only a few people give and a great many people need what they give. So I Googled him, and discovered that he had written, "Cold River," a book that I had read many years ago, about three young men and their true escape from Czechoslovakia into Austria. Jozef was one of them, and he lists his age today, not from his birth, but from the date of his escape. The book haunted me for many years, and it made me appreciate, American life--despite who was in office--and the freedoms I really have. I expected to see a movie made from it, which never came but should have.

Thank you Jozef, for coming to our site, but thanks more for the gift of  "Cold River, " so many years ago.

Titles Available from Jozef Imrich

Cold River: a survivor's story is about man's desire for freedom during a time when none existed. Jozef describes the village in which he grew up with such emotion and sadness that the reader can hear the snow crunching beneath his expectant mother's feet as she makes her way through the snow drifts.
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