Robert Perišić

"Robert Perisic is a light bright with intelligence and twinkling with irony, flashing us the news that postwar Croatia not only endures but matters." - Jonathan Franzen
"How deeply satisfying it is to hear Perisic’s wry voice take a different angle, and tell a different story."—ZYZZYVA

Robert Perisic (Robert Perišić) is a prominent Croatian writer.  

Perisic was born in 1969 in Split. He lives in Zagreb and works as free-lance writer.

Robert Perisic published two poetry collections,"Castle America" ('Dvorac Amerika' , 1995) and "Sometime Later" ('Jednom kasnije' , 2012), two short story collections, "You Can Spit On The One Who’ll Ask For Us" ('Možeš pljunuti onoga tko bude pitao za nas', 1999) and "Horror and Huge Expenses" ('Užas i veliki troškovi' , 2002), a novel “Our Man in Iraq” ('Naš čovek na terenu' , 2007), an autobiographical prose collection “Introduction to Funny Dance” ('Uvod u smiješni ples', 2011) a theatre play 'Kultura u predgrađu' (Culture in the Suburbs, 1997) and a screenplay for feature movie 'Sto minuta slave' (100 Minutes of Glory, 2004). 

His novel “Naš čovjek na terenu” ('Our Man in Iraq’), published in 2007, was a bestseller in Croatia and received the prestigious Croatian literary award 'Jutarnji list'.

The German edition of the novel (‘Unser Mann vor Ort’) received ‘Literaturpreis der Steiermärkischen Sparkasse 2011’ in Graz, Austria.

The English edition of the novel is published in 2012 by Istros Books. In 2013 USA edition came out by Black Balloon Publishing (New York), blurbed by Jonathan Franzen.

LITERARY AGENCY / CONTACT : Sandorf (ivan.srsen@sandorf.hr)

PRESS AND PRAISE FOR "OUR MAN IN IRAQ":

"Robert Perisic is a light bright with intelligence and twinkling with irony, flashing us the news that postwar Croatia not only endures but matters."  - Jonathan Franzen 

"Robert Perisic depicts, with acerbic wit, a class of urban elites who are trying to reconcile their nineties rebellion with the reality of present-day Croatia. . . . The characters' snide remarks could easily sound cynical but the novel has a levity informed by the sense of social fluidity that comes with democracy."  —The New Yorker

"This jivey—and I should say x-rated—story stays with us."—Alan Cheuse, "All Things Considered" NPR

" . . . terrifically witty and original. . ."—The Toronto Star

"Perisic’s smoothly told and unfailingly engaging story takes off swiftly and never falters. Toni’s is a tragic-comic tale enriched by layers of meditation on the broad and lasting effects of war, and the peculiarities of contemporary media . . . How deeply satisfying it is to hear Perisic’s wry voice take a different angle, and tell a different story."ZYZZYVA

"Given the uncountable billions of words they have dedicated to the war in Iraq, it might be easy for Americans to think of it as belonging solely to them. Even its possession by the Iraqis can feel tenuous at times. So it is a refreshing reminder of the new global village to read a novel like Robert Perisic’s “Our Man in Iraq,” which studies the fighting in Baghdad from the distant shores of Croatia." The Boston Globe  

"What’s most compelling about Perisic’s novel are the relentlessly insightful one-liners, offering poignant commentary on the unsettled day-to-day of a society trying to find its footing after devastating violence and in the throes of nascent capitalism. . . this smart, cutting book powerfully illustrates the horrible hangover of war." — Publisher's Weekly

Extraordinary novels do more than tell a good story; they cross multiple orbits, discussing family, love, politics, money and art. What’s amazing about Robert Perisic’s “Our Man in Iraq” is that it does all of the above — while also being wickedly funny. - The Eastern Iowa Gazette

"Despite the serious themes, the novel is largely comic and in many ways falls into the genre of satirical anti-war novels that includes The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five." - The Times Literary Supplement 

"I am not Croatian, but I am a journalist and I know lots of the people in this book – not literally, of course, but I recognise their characters. All the way through, not only did want to know what happened next, but I kept thinking, 'Yes, exactly!'" - Tim Judah on Our Man in Iraq

See more:

http://ourmaniniraq.com/press-and-praise-for-our-man-in-iraq/

http://www.timeoutcroatia.com/culture/literature/robert-perisic/

 

MAIN WORKS:

BOOKS:

1995 – "Castle America" /Croatian title: Dvorac Amerika/, poetry

1999 - "You Can Spit On The One Who’ll Ask For Us" /Možeš pljunuti onoga tko bude pitao za nas/, short stories

2002 - "Horror and Huge Expenses" /Užas i veliki troškovi/, short stories

2007 – “Our Man in Iraq” /Naš čovjek na terenu/, novel (Jutarnji list Prize, Zagreb 2008; Literaturpreis der Steiermärkischen Sparkasse, Graz 2011)

2011 – “Introduction to Funny Dance” /Uvod u smiješni ples/, autobiographical prose

2012 - "Sometime Later" /Jednom kasnije/, poetry

PLAYS:

2000 - "Culture in Suburb" /Kultura u predgrađu/, black comedy (2000-2002. in Drama Theatre "Gavella", Zagreb)

FILM:

2004 - Screen-play for feature movie "100 Minutes of Glory" /100 minuta Slave/, director: Dalibor Matanić

 

ABROAD:

"You Can Spit On The One Who’ll Ask For Us" /Možeš pljunuti onoga tko bude pitao za nas, Croatian issue 1999/, stories

- in Serbia, “Možeš pljunuti onoga tko bude pitao za nas”, 2002, publisher: Samizdat B92, Belgrade

– in Hungaria, “Köpd le, aki rólunk kérdez”, 2004, publisher: Gondolat Kiadó; Budapest

"Horror and Huge Expenses" /Užas i veliki troškovi, Croatian issue 2002/, stories

– in Slovenia, “Vse te smešne zgodbe”, 2002, publisher: Študentska založba, Ljubljana

- in Serbia, “Užas i veliki troškovi”, 2002, publisher: Samizdat B92, Belgrade

- in Czech Republic, Děs a velký výdaje”, 2009, publisher: Větrné mlýny, Brno

“Our Man in Iraq” /Naš čovjek na terenu, Croatian issue 2007/, novel

- in Serbia, “Naš čovjek na terenu”, 2008, publisher: Profil international, Belgrade

- in Bulgaria, “Наш човек от мястото на събитието”, 2010, publisher: Дамян Яков, Sofia

– in Slovenia, “Naš človek na terenu”, 2010, publisher: Študentska založba, Ljubljana

– in Macedonia, “Нашиот човек на теренот”, 2010, publisher: Makedonska reč, Skopje

-  in Austria, “Unser Mann vor Ort”, 2011, publisher: Leykam Buchverlag, Graz (Literaturpreis der Steiermärkischen Sparkasse 2011)

– in Czech Republic, in translation, publisher: ART LIBRI, Praha, program for 2014

– in Italy, "Il nostro uomo sul campo", publisher: Zandonai, Rovereto (TN), October 2012

– in United Kingdom, “Our Man in Iraq”, publisher: Istros Books, London, June 2012

– in USA, ‘Our Man in Iraq’, publisher: Black Balloon Publishing, New York, April 2013

- rights sold: Turkey, Sweden, Etiopia, Egypt




An extraordinary novel succeeds on all fronts

The Gazette, Laura Farmer, 28 April 2013

Extraordinary novels do more than tell a good story; they cross multiple orbits, discussing family, love, politics, money and art. What’s amazing about Robert Perisic’s “Our Man in Iraq” is that it does all of the above — while also being wickedly funny.

The Normal World Believes Its Own Stability

An Interview with Robert Perišić by Steven Wingate

When your first book in the U.S. comes out with a front cover blurb from Jonathan Franzen, you’re usually in a pretty good spot. That’s where Croatian author Robert Perišić finds himself with the fine, just-released novel Our Man in Iraq, one of the first offerings from the relatively new press Black Balloon Publishing.
(The U.K. edition of the novel was published by Istros Books in 2012 and the original, Naš čovjek na terenu in Croatian, came out in 2007.)

After the war

Prospect Magazine / by J A Hopkin / January 24, 2013

Our Man in Iraq, by Robert Perišic

Robert Perišic’s wry novel Our Man in Iraq was a bestseller in his native Croatia, and its US edition has been endorsed recently by Jonathan Franzen. It’s easy to see why. With a nod to the great Ranko Marinkovic’s novel, Cyclops, in which a theatre critic and his boho-intelligentsia friends try to make sense of Zagreb during the second world war, Perišic maps and mocks the rapid changes happening to his city following the end of the Domovinski Rat—the brutal Homelands War of 1991-95 in which Croatia fought for independence from Serbia.

Croatia via Iraq

Brave New Words, Thursday, April 18, 2013

B.J. Epstein

I had never read a Croatian novel, though I’ve been to Croatia, until a few months ago. Here’s my review of that Croatian novel in English translation. The review was published in Wales Arts Review.

Our Man in Iraq
Robert Perisic, translated by Will Firth

Toronto Star on Robert Perisic's novel

By: Emily Donaldson (Published on Fri Apr 12 2013)

"When I say Our Man in Iraq is likely to be the best novel you've ever read by a Croatian writer, I'€™m not just cynically gambling that you'€™ve never read any Croatian novels; or rather, I'€™m doing it secure in the knowledge that Robert Perisic'€™s first novel (originally published in 2007) is also terrifically witty and original."

Our Man in Iraq by Robert Perisic

World Literature Today, September 2013.
by Michele Levy, North Carolina A&T University

This postmodern, postcommunist picaresque hilariously skewers Croatian, Western, and global culture as it follows the rapid descent of quasi-journalist Toni

Perisic's novel selected as one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2013

A very popular American site on books and literary culture, The Millions, selected Robert Perisic's novel Our Man in Iraq as one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2013.

Our Man in Iraq

Toni, the economics correspondent of a Croatian newspaper, initially thought it would be a brilliant idea to send his Arabic-speaking cousin Boris to Iraq in his place to report on the war. However, when all news from Boris suddenly stops, Toni's career - and his increasingly complicated personal life - is left hanging in the balance as he is forced to fake his cousin's reports...
The bestselling, internationally award-winning novel from Croatian writer Robert Perišić is now available in English translation.
Read an extract from "Our Man in Iraq", published by Istros Books in June 2012, translated from Croatian by Will Firth.

Tim Judah on Our Man in Iraq

TIM JUDAH
Our Man in Iraq by Robert Perišić

In general terms, there are only a few tests of a good book. The first and really big one, however, is whether you want to know what happens next. The second, which obviously does not apply if you are reading science fiction or a historical romance, say, is whether you think, “Yes, exactly!” about descriptions of people and places. I am not Croatian, but I am a journalist and I know lots of the people in this book – not literally, of course, but I recognise their characters. All the way through, not only did want to know what happened next, but I kept thinking, “Yes, exactly!”

Tim Judah is Balkans correspondent of The Economist

Croatia: from our own correspondent

ANN MORGAN, A year of reading the world

Our Man in Iraq by Robert Perišić, Istros books 2012

'It is a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking story, which, while recalling some of the comic greats that have gone before, add its own brave, quirky and refreshing perspective to the tradition. An unexpected delight.'

The Eastern Iowa Gazette reviewers selected Perisic's Our Man in Iraq as one of their favorites in 2013

Gazette book reviewers who have shared their insights about more than 100 books in 2013 were asked to name just five favorites from the long list of books they read this year.

One of them, Laura Farmer, include in her favorites “Our Man in Iraq” by Robert Perisic. She wrote that this was one of the most striking novels of the year. When Boris begins sending incoherent reports back to Croatia from Iraq, Toni, Boris’ cousin, rewrites them, blurring the line between truth and fiction and raising points about the role of the media, truth, and the chances we take in life to do what we think is best.

FROM ZAGREB WITH ANOMIE

Steven Wingate
From: American Book Review
Volume 34, Number 4, May/June 2013


Perišić neither sentimentalizes or demonizes the worship of global capital, making his novel that much more tough-minded.

Boston Globe: ‘Our Man in Iraq’ by Robert Perisic

By Saul Austerlitz (Published on Apr 11, 2013)

Given the uncountable billions of words they have dedicated to the war in Iraq, it might be easy for Americans to think of it as belonging solely to them. Even its possession by the Iraqis can feel tenuous at times. So it is a refreshing reminder of the new global village to read a novel like Robert Perisic’s “Our Man in Iraq,” which studies the fighting in Baghdad from the distant shores of Croatia.

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Authors' pages

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