“You are an enemy of the State”- this is how Peter Kysel’s story begins.
Peter enjoyed a family-centred childhood in Prague. But all this changed when he was a teenager, and the State turned against him. He was persecuted for his father’s former social class, banned from further education and publicly stigmatised. Ultimately, Peter was driven into exile. Despite discrimination, traumas, and self-doubt, Peter secured a place to study at Oxford University, where he found sanctuary.
Now Peter has written his first autobiography – ‘Age of Storms – The Making of a European’, with the help of Story Terrace. The book captures his earlier years, with a focus on his family history, the political situation in Czechoslovakia and finally his emigration to the UK.
Peter was prompted to record his life story and family history by the younger generation of his own family. He told us:
“I have always told family stories at social gatherings. Five years ago, my daughter Tamara asked me to write my family story for her newly born son, Max. I completed it in time for Christmas, as a present to her.”
At a certain stage, Peter realised he needed some professional help to turn his manuscript into a completed book. That’s when he found Story Terrace. We paired him with our writer, Duncan Barrett, who helped to edit Peter’s manuscript, and ghostwrote additional sections of the book.
‘Age of Storms’ is one of Story Terrace’s biggest projects – the finished volume runs to 428 pages. Peter was really happy with the finished result – so much so that we are working with him on a second volume, and also helping him to self-publish ‘Age of Storms’ on Amazon:
“The feedback from friends and family has been very positive…I am delighted with it and look forward to editing the second volume to cover transformation of my life from a political refugee into a British citizen.”
Story Terrace’s managing editor, Alice Nightingale, explains how interesting it was to work with Peter on his book:
“Peter has a fascinating story and has been a great pleasure to work with. We are really pleased that we were able to produce a beautiful package for him and I am looking forward to working on the next volume with him.”