Book Launch Party for Border Crossings, Sunday, October 21, 2-4 p.m.

Book Launch Party for Border Crossings, Sunday, October 21, 2-4 p.m.

Hosting the event are 1021 Press and EMERALD, a new gift boutique on Woodward at 15 Kirby in the Park Shelton in Midtown Detroit. Books will be for sale at a discounted price and signed by the publisher.  The public is welcome.  Information at the website and Facebook under the book title.

DETROIT, Michigan, September 29, 2012 — 1021 Press, Detroit has announced the publication of a new memoir,  Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance, by Charles Novacek. The book has been endorsed by Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State:

“Border Crossings is the well-told and dramatic story of a young man whose comfortable life is abruptly transformed by the savagery of World War II. Forced to rely on primal instincts and his familiarity with the rugged highlands of Moravia, Charles Novacek casts his lot first with the anti-Hitler Underground and then with the resistance to the Nazis’ Communist successors. “My recollections pain me,” he writes, “still, they have made me who I am.”  Novacek’s experience as a Hungarian-speaking Czecho-Slovak patriot demonstrates the folly of petty nationalism and the resilience of human decency and love.”                                                                                ―Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State

About the Book

This absorbing and previously unpublished memoir, chronicles the remarkable life of Charles Novacek― one that took him from his youth spent in the Czech resistance against the Nazis and the Communists to the displaced persons camps of Germany to the military dictatorship of Venezuela before granting him access to the American dream.

Charles (Karel) Novacek was born in Ožd’any, Czechoslovakia to a Hungarian homemaker mother and Moravian policeman father. In 1938, his idyllic childhood was shattered with the Munich Agreement, displacement of the Novacek family to Moravia and the ensuing Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia. The family became actively involved in the Czech resistance. At the age of eleven Charles and his sister Vlasta were trained for wartime resistance by their father Antonin and Uncle Josef Robotká: how to resist pain, hunger and fear―and to trust no one.

Novacek continued his work in the resistance after World War II ended as the Soviets occupied his homeland. He endured arrest, capture, and torture ultimately escaping across the German border.

Novacek’s memoir brings the experiences and thoughts of the young resistance fighter sharply to life while also bearing the sage perspective of a man in his eighth decade of life. The book is supplemented with a map, 30 black & white  photos, a timeline, and biographies of Novacek’s relatives in the resistance.

Media Kit at

About the Author

Charles Novacek graduated from the Industrial College of Engineering in Brno, Czechoslovakia with a degree in mechanical engineering and attended the Masaryk University School of Law in Brno. After escaping his homeland in 1948, Novacek fled to Germany, then Venezuela and was finally able to immigrate with his family to the United States in 1956 where he taught himself English as his seventh language.

Novacek was a registered professional engineer and spent thirty-three years in the Detroit, Michigan, metro area as a civil engineer. Among his assignments were project engineer for the Cobo Hall Convention Center and Henry Ford Hospital office tower, project manager for the Chrysler Styling Project Complex designed by Minoru Yamasaki, and quality assurance manager for the Detroit People Mover.

Novacek was also a talented artist who carved stone and painted many vibrant works and a world traveler who was ever interested in the beauty and intricacy of other cultures. A lifelong learner who continually sought knowledge, Novacek studied Chinese and earned a Bachelor’s and two Masters degrees during his retirement years.

Novacek died in Detroit in 2007.

BORDER CROSSINGS: COMING OF AGE IN THE CZECH RESISTANCE (1021 Press, Detroit), by Charles Novacek. Publication date: October 21, 2012; hardcover, ISBN 978-0-9854151-0-5, $28.00; paperback, ISBN 978-09854151-1-2, $18.00; Available through many online booksellers in U.S.A. and internationally, and in Detroit area independent bookstores. Digital editions available soon.

READ AN EXCERPT from Border Crossings on the blog.

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