Dogs and Others

Title: Dogs and Others (original title: Psi i Ostali) Writer: Biljana Jovanović (tr. by John K. Cox) Publishing House: Istros Books Date of Publication: November 5th 2018 (first published 1980) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Dogs always believe that they belong to Others (whom they consider to be, for unknown reasons enduring right up to our day,…

Fairground Magician

Τitle: Fairground Magician (original title: Vašarski mađioničar) Writer: Jelena Lengold (tr. by Celia Hawkesworth) Publishing House: Istros Books Date of Publication: December 17th 2013 (first published 2008) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It’s not that I need you to love me, but I need to suffer because you don’t.’’ I am a rather weird person. Strange things…

#Fairytale Friday: Serbia

Title: Serbian Fairy Tales (Σερβικά παραμύθια) Writer: edited and translated into Greek by Momčilo Radić Publishing House: Απόπειρα Date of Publication: 2004 Rating: 5 stars Today we aren’t going to talk about a specific tale. Instead, we’re going on a trip to Serbia, guided by the most characteristic features of the Serbian fairy tale.  The fairy tales of…

Baba Yaga Laid An Egg

Title: Baba Yaga Laid An Egg (original title: Život je bajka) Writer: Dubravka Ugrešić  (translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać, Celia Hawkesworth &  Mark Thompson (Translator) Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication: July 1st 2009 (first published 2007) Rating: 2 stars ‘’Sweet little old ladies. At first you don’t see them. And then, there they are, on the tram, at the post…

On My Aunt’s Shallow Grave White Roses Have Already Bloomed

Title: On My Aunt’s Shallow Grave White Roses Have Already Bloomed (original title: Από Τη Μέση και Κάτω) Writer: Maria Mitsora (translated by Jacob Moe) Publishing House: Yale University Press Date of Publication: September 18th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’My tutor lived in a beautiful pinkstone house, enveloped in bougainvillea vines. I had heard a few things about his life…

Gospođica (The Woman From Sarajevo)

Title: Gospođica Writer: Ivo Andrić Publishing House: Dereta Date of Publication: First published 1945 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The sky above Belgrade stretches from horizon to horizon, often tumultuous, but always beautiful. In winter, with its bright, cold and clear starry nights, in summer with its sudden showers. When it changes, becoming a thick, dark cloud that carries heavy rain and…

The Hotel Tito

Title: The Hotel Tito (original title Hotel Zagorje) Writer: Ivana Simić Bodrožić Publishing House: Seven Stories Press UK Date of Publication: September 21st 2017  (first published 2010) Rating: 1 star Some of my favourite writers are Croatian. Talented, intelligent people whose objective view on such a delicate matter as the 1990s conflicts delivers stories that are heartfelt, evocative and…

Fear and His Servant

Title: Fear and His Servant   (original title: Strah i njegov sluga ) Writer: Mirjana Novaković Publishing House: Peter Owen Publishers (originally published by Beograd:ReVision Publishing) Date of Publication:  April 1st 2018 (first published 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Like everyone else, I want gifts that come from the heart, the gift without a price. I’ve wondered this earth for such a long…

Mars

Title: Mars: Stories Writer: Asja Bakić (translated by Jennifer Zoble) Publishing House: The Feminist Press at CUNY Date of Publication: March 19th 2019 (first published 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Death is typically a European film. The scenes are evocative, the atmosphere and characters charged. But in my case, death took a different form.’’ When you start reading a book and…

Belladonna

Title: Belladonna Writer: Daša Drndić (translated by Celia Hawkesworth) Publishing House: New Directions Date of Publication: October 24th 2017 (first published November 1st 2012) Rating: 5 stars ‘’And the wind brought people who had let their plows rust; solitary people tiling the sky, reaping the harvests of summer nights, the fat grain of early straws, leaving it all unwinnowed. Instead…

Za uvek i dan više (Forever and a Day)

  Title: Forever And A Day (original title: Za uvek i dan više) Writer: Milorad Pavić Publishing House: Dereta Date of Publication: April 2nd 2012 (first published 1993) Rating: 5 stars ‘’When someone dies, this means that a stranger wanted to tell us something important. Every death is, in fact, a word. And all our deaths create a long, unread…

Bottled Goods

Title: Bottled Goods Writer: Sophie van Llewyn Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 11th 2018 Rating: 5 stars *If you attempt any political comments, think again. You can’t win an argument with me, thank you.’’ ‘’Twenty years later, an icon of the Saviour will hang in this spot, but in 1975, it’s Ceaușescu’s depiction that the…

Fox

Title: Fox Writer: Dubravka Ugrešić (tr. by Ellen Elias-Bursać and  David Williams Publishing House: Open Letter Date of Publication: April 17th 2018 (first published June 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’We are all footnotes, many of us will never have the chance to be read, all of us in an unrelenting and desperate struggle for our lives, for the life of…

Stork Mountain

Τitle: Stork Mountain Writer: Miroslav Penkov Publishing House: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Date of Publication: March 15th 2016 Rating: 3 stars “You use legos to build castles while we use them to make weapons.” My love for Balkan Literature led me to a (supposedly) promising writer from Bulgaria and his first novel named Stork Mountain. Miroslav Penkov was born in…

Οι Όχθες του Σάβου

*The English review is hiding below:) * H λογοτεχνία των Βαλκανίων είναι τόσο ιδιότυπη και ξεχωριστή όσο κι η Ρώσικη. Η έμφαση στην ηθογραφία, η γλαφυρότητα των καθημερινών χαρακτήρων, η μεστή γλώσσα χωρίς ιδιαίτερη ποιητικότητα αλλά γεμάτη ρεαλισμό είναι ξεκάθαρα γνωρίσματα της λογοτεχνίας της ΝΑ Ευρώπης. Είναι πάντα ευχάριστο να βλέπεις καινούριους εκδοτικούς οίκους να…

The Encyclopedia of the Dead

  Title: The Encyclopedia of the Dead  Writer: Danilo Kiš Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: May 28th 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published 1983) Rating: 5 stars ‘’When a lie repeats for a long time, people begin to believe.’’ This collection is an ode to the values of Literature. An opportunity to contemplate, to feel, to reflect. A beautiful,…

Dark Things…

“If Hieronymus Bosch had gotten around to writing poems, I suspect they would have sounded like Novica Tadić .” Charles Simic I feel this quote describes the nature of the poems included in this superb collection in a way more accurate than any review. This is my first foray into the work of Novica Tadić…