Lowdown on Croatian literature
May 7, 2008 3:09 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations of Croatian authors whose works are available in English.

I'd prefer contemporary writers but I'm open to anything. I'm interested in novels, short stories, memories - anything. I'd just like to know who the major Croat authors are.
posted by anonymous78 to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Josip Novakovich: April Fool's Day
Vedrana Rudan: Night
Dubravka Ugresic: Fording the Stream of Consciousness, The Ministry of Pain, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender
posted by TheRaven at 4:09 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

This article on the state of the contemporary Croatian publishing industry may be of interest. It names Miljenko Jergovic, Slavenka Drakulic, Dubravka Ugresic, Josip Novakovich, Predrag Matvejevic, and Miroslav Krleza as examples of "extremely well received" young Croatian writers whose works are available in English (titles and publisher names are given). Also mentioned is the fiction anthology Croatian Nights, "an overview of contemporary Croatian writing."

Hopefully someone else who knows more about this will happen by, but the Serbo-Croat oral epic tradition has survived into the present day. The Singer of Tales, a comp. lit. classic, contains lengthy paraphrases of different versions of performances in its appendices.
posted by Cucurbit at 4:13 PM on May 7, 2008

Miroslav Krleza died in 1981, so he can hardly be considered a "young Croatian writer"; on the other hand, he's usually considered the great Croatian writer of the 20th century (and one of the greats of European literature in general) and his main works are available in English, so he's probably a good place to start.
posted by languagehat at 5:41 PM on May 7, 2008

Sorry, that should be Krle┼ża with a hat on the z (pronounced CUR-leh-zha).
posted by languagehat at 5:41 PM on May 7, 2008

'Sblood! And it looks like some of the other people in that list aren't so young, either. But at least the rest are still alive.
posted by Cucurbit at 6:04 PM on May 7, 2008

Alexander Hemon is kind of an interesting writer, though he's technically Bosnian, from Sarajevo. He actually writes in English.

My favourite of the former Yugoslav writers is Danilo Kis, but he's Serbian. He's widely translated.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:05 PM on May 7, 2008

languagehat - would you recommend one of his novels in particular?
posted by anonymous78 at 8:36 PM on May 7, 2008

I like Miljenko Jergovic and Dubravka Ugresic. Jergovic writes short stories and the stuff I've read of Ugresic is very interesting nonfiction. And the Ooligan Press puts out a lot of contemporary Croatian writers -- you might check them out.
posted by hungrytiger at 9:18 PM on May 7, 2008

I was really moved by a memoir, written by a Croatian-American, describing experiences excavating mass grave sites from the war. It's called The Stone Fields, by Courtney Angela Brkic, although it was written in Elnglish rather than in Croatian, so it's perhaps not quite what you were looking for (although it's excellent, all the same).
posted by hydatius at 3:14 AM on May 8, 2008

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