Love in the Time of Capitalism: Rage and Resentment in Ivana Sajko’s “Love Novel,” Translated from Croatian by Mima Simić
“Love Novel” focuses on an unnamed man and woman in a relationship that has grown toxic, who are kept together by the child they have brought into the world but whose resentment towards one another simmers and grows as the novel progresses. The title is ironic – or, more specifically, acerbic: this is no traditional “love story,” but rather a novel about love gone stale.
On Mothers and Madhouses: Tatjana Gromača’s “The Divine Child,” Translated from Croatian by Will Firth
The Divine Child—or Božanska dječica in its 2012 publication by Fraktura—tells the story of a woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder as Croatian politicians violently endorse nationalism in the 1990s. It asks how a community reestablishes what passes for “normal” when every social agreement previously made has crumbled.
Notes from the “Empire of Stupidity”: Dubravka Ugrešić’s “The Age of Skin,” translated from Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursać
By Ena Selimović On a recent bike ride in East Bay, northern California, I hear a voice from the direction of a foldout chair and turn to see a maskless woman waving a clipboard. She tells her masked audience of two that she is trying to get something added to a local ballot. She repeats, […]
By Serena Todesco As a translator, I often find myself trying to find suitable images to describe what translation exactly entails. When it comes to authors from relatively unknown countries, such as Croatia, translation is indeed a form of irregular and unpredictable treasure hunting. Thanks to the strange combination of my academic interest in European […]
By Ena Selimović In a review in The Guardian, Ranka Primorac argued that the “best of Croatia’s post-independence writing” challenges what she described as a “dualist (sunny beaches vs. nasty politics, ‘backward’ Croatia vs. ‘modern’ EU) mode of thinking.” Alongside the works of Zoran Ferić and Slavko Goldstein, Maša Kolanović’s Sloboština Barbie exemplified for Primorac […]
“Scattered words (and scattered worlds)”: Dubravka Ugrešić’s “American Fictionary,” translated from Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth and Ellen Elias-Bursać
By Ena Selimović “This is an indecent book,” Dubravka Ugrešić’s American Fictionary proclaims in a new co-translation by Celia Hawkesworth and Ellen Elias-Bursać, and then continues: I have always believed (and still do) that a writer with any self-respect should avoid three things: a) autobiography; b) writing about other countries; c) diaries. (7) This proclamation […]