Neven Ušumović

Neven Usumovic won critical acclaim for his collections of short stories. His story "Vereš" is published in the collection "Best European Fiction 2010" (Dalkey Archive Press).

Neven Usumovic was born in 1972 in Zagreb and grew up in Subotica. Graduated in philosophy, comparative literature and Hungarian studies from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb.

He won critical acclaim for collections of short stories: 7 mladih (1997), Makovo zrno (2009), Rajske ptice (2012), and a “short-lived novel” Ekskurzija (2001).

Translated from Hungarian the works of Béla Hamvas, Ferenc Molnár, Péter Esterházy and Ádám Bodor.

"My first literary attempts, in the late eighties, are directly related with the adolescent uncovering of the life and history of the town where I grew up – Subotica (Hungarian: Szabadka). Subotica is a town with a complex Austro-Hungarian history; today it is in Serbia, with majority of Hungarian population and a significant share of Croatian, formerly also Jewish as well as German culture; and there four writers were born who have been my constant inspiration: Géza Csáth (1887-1919), Dezső Kosztolányi (1885-1936), Danilo Kiš (1935-1989) and Radomir Konstantinović (1928-). Ravages of war in Yugoslavia during the 90's directed, in a traumatic way, my creativity towards the violent tentativeness of the national language and territory, which made my postmodernist sensibility (imbued with the poetics od Danilo Kiš or, for example, David Albahari, but at the same time intoxicated with the loud versatility of path-breakers in music such as Sonic Youth, John Zorn or Einstürzende Neubauten) both additionally politicized and in a new way oriented towards the textuality in general, but also towards a new poetics of the Pannonian area. My writing stops and goes continuosly, defying the smooth rhythm of speech, just like the language of Marina Tsvetaeva, Miloš Crnjanski or Ádám Bodor; whereas my basic poetic interest in the landscape is all but romantic: I'm interested in the consequences of industrialisation, in all the aspects of the environment destruction: from there I draw inspiration for my grotesque, symbolic scenes, looking for the point which would mean, amidst this increasingly fast globalist carneval, a point of reversal and reflexion."

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Neven Ušumović: Chikungunya (extract)

Of course he didn’t take him all the way to the Croatian border. He left him near Parecag, at a bus station. This driver didn’t say a word, he drove all to Koper in silence; all right, true, it was Monday, no one felt like talking. He only said srečno, wished him good luck, and motioned him to get out. He crossed the road and after only a few steps found the place where he could wait for another car.


Story by Neven Ušumović
Translated by Celia Hawkesworth

The story "Vereš" is published in the collection "Best European Fiction 2010" (Dalkey Archive Press) edited by Aleksandar Hemon.

An interview with Neven Ušumović

"At the end of the 1990s, the prevailing trend in Croatian literature was neorealism: the consequences of war, the sudden impoverishment of wide sections of society, the brutality of the economic transition were foregrounded. In this decade, there is more experimentation: intermediality and crossover of genres offer particularly productive solutions for an inventive dialogue with social reality. It would please me if people outside Croatia read Robert Perišić, Zoran Ferić, Boris Dežulović and Marinko Koščec; then new writers such as Vlado Bulić and Zoran Pilić. They are characterized by harsh satire, uncompromising analysis of the social situation, and poetic inventiveness." - from


How Are You? by Barbara Matejčić, a review


"From time to time, a literary work would appear that would succeed in giving a voice to the voiceless ones. How Are You?, an excellent collection of short stories by a Croatian journalist and writer Barbara Matejčić, is one of these literary works.
The author has spent a period of her life with her characters, being with them, helping them and listening to their stories, and her method is hence intrinsically one typical of investigative journalism."
Saša Ilić,


Tea Tulić: The Hair is everywhere (Selection)


Tea Tulić was born in Rijeka (Croatia) in 1978. Her work was published in various Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian and Slovenian literature and cultural magazines including McSweeney’s from San Francisco. In 2011, she won Prozak, a literary award for the best young author’s manuscript, which resulted in publication of her first book, a fragmentary novel Kosa posvuda (Hair Everywhere). The novel received numerous positive reviews and was included in the top five prose books of the 2011 by Vijesnik daily newspaper, The Croatian Ministry of Culture awarded it as one of the best prose books in 2011. Hair Everywhere is also translated and published in UK, Italy, Macedonia and Serbia. In 2014. in cooperation with the musical collective Japanski Premijeri, she published spoken word album Albumče on Bandcamp.
She is a jury member of international short prose competition Lapis Histrae and a member of RiLit, a non-formal group of writers from Rijeka. Her new novel “Maksimum jata” (Flock’s maksimum) is recently published.

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The Little Black Egg: a punk excursion to Croatia

"It’s called Rijecki Novi Val. (Novi Val is Croatian for New Wave.) This is one of the best collections of anything I ever acquired. Punk and New Wave were huge in the Balkans. I said it once, and I’ll say it again: the ex-YU countries are responsible for the some of the best punk music made anywhere."


An interview with Zdenko Franjić

Starting out in 1987, Croatian record label Slusaj Najglasnije! (or Listen Loudest!) documented many of Croatia’s greatest bands, including Majke, Hali Gali Halid, Satan Panonski, Bambi Molestors, and many others. Over time, Listen Loudest! evolved, and today releases music from artists the world around. The mastermind behind Listen Loudest, Zdenko Franjic, has been kept his label/life mission together for over thirty years without a break.


20 Essential Films for an Introduction to Yugoslavian Cinema

Once upon a time there was a country, and that country made films. The films produced in the former Yugoslavia remain fascinating for anyone interested in the country or in films. This list is by no means definitive, for Yugoslav cinema is too rich and varied for that. It is rather, a primer for those unfamiliar with the region, the best bits from each era and each generation.


Croatian Sites on UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

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Dancing under socialism: rare electronic music from Yugoslavia

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First Croatian newspaper for asylum-seekers, refugees launched

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Most of the newspapers' authors are asylum-seekers.


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A History of Eastern European Matchboxes

Although they were produced under strict state-controlled production processes; that were aimed at exploiting them as a means of publicizing political initiatives, promoting public health and safety, and selling the communist ideal both at home and abroad, the artists used them as a vehicle to experiment with various imaginative ideas and artistic techniques, achieving truly stunning results.

Authors' pages

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