Karen Capek is widely considered the greatest Czech author of the first half of the twentieth century. A novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and essayist, he was a strong dissident voice during the period of fascist buildup in Europe between the World Wars. Most famous for his play R.U.R., which coined the word "robot," he wrote a number of satires, as well as the utopian fantasy novel War with the Newts. He died in 1938. Michael Pollan is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Botany of Desire and Second Nature, named one of the best gardening books of the twentieth century by the American Horticultural Society. He is a contributing editor to Harper's magazine and a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. Pollan chose the books for the Modern Library Gardening series because, as he writes, "these writers are some of the great talkers in the rich, provocative, and frequently uproarious conversation that, metaphorically at least, has been taking place over the back fence of our gardens at least since the time of Pliny."
"There was no writer like him." --Arthur Miller
"A charming and loving chronicle of the Czechoslovak playwright's backyard garden in Prague. . . . [A] funny but meaty little book." --The New York Times "Capek's work has lost nothing of its freshness and luster." --The New York Times Book Review