Lit Link Festival 2017 in Pula, Rijeka and Zagreb

The 'Lit Link Festival' in Croatia (or 'Književna karika' - in Croatian) is a three-day literary tour whose participants are writers, editors and publishers. This year the motto of the Lit Link Festival is “Despite Brexit” and the guests are British writers, editors and publishers.
The festival consists of three evening readings in which both Croatian authors and British authors participate. The readings will take place in the coastal cities of Pula (29th June, Centar Rojc) and Rijeka (30th June, Astronomski centar), as well as the inland capital, Zagreb (1st July, Club Močvara/Mochvara).


Damir Karakaš: Perfect Place for Misery


An excerpt from the novel translated by Marino Buble.

The novel is about a young Croatian writer in Paris. Through his everyday struggle emerges a whole new parallel world of Parisian underground marked by immigrants literally trying to survive. He meets a girl from the Arab neighborhood in Paris, signs up for the university studying French language so he could have more success with the publishers as well as to get residence permit... The novel paralelly follows his adventure and his search for a publisher and success which ends with no positive result.

Damir Karakaš was born in 1967 in the village of Plašćica in Lika, the mountainous region of Croatia. He is the author of nine books, out of which there are three short story collections and four novels. His books were translated to German, Czech, Macedonian, Slovenian, Arabic... In 2008 a movie made according to his short stories collection Kino Lika was released, directed by Dalibor Matanić, winning numerous awards in Croatia and abroad.


Zoran Ferić: Maya Calendar


An extract from the novel "Maya Calendar" (Kalendar Maja) by Zoran Ferić, translated by Tomislav Kuzmanović.
The novel has received three awards in 2012 - the Jutarnji List Award for the best work of prose fiction, the Vladimir Nazor Award and the Zagreb City Award.
Zoran Ferić was born in 1961 in Zagreb. He is among the most widely read contemporary Croatian writers. His works have been translated into English, German, Polish, Slovenian, Spanish and Hungarian.


Jelena Zlatar Gamberožić: The Desk

Jelena Zlatar Gamberožić is the author of a collection of short stories, Odjavna karta (A Farewell Card) (2014), and a novel, Slijepa točka (Blind Spot) (2015), as well as numerous scientific articles. She received her PhD. in Sociology from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2012. One of her short stories won the Kritična masa/Critical Mass Prize for Young Authors in 2016. She works at the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb.
The following short story, "The Desk", from Zlatar's collection of short stories, Odjavna Karta, originally appeared in the online literary magazine, Underpass.


Robert Vrbnjak: The Monument to the Unknown Buyer

"At noon on August 16th, when the sun was shining at its brightest, a man pushed a loaded shopping cart out of the cozy, air-conditioned atmosphere of a Liburnian supermarket. The man was no one special. Balding, between sixty to sixty-five years of age and wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and flip-flops, he headed toward the parking lot, then suddenly stopped and pulled a piece of paper from his pocket (later found to be a receipt)... And then, under that hot Liburnian sun, he got sick."


Dalibor Šimpraga: Gateway to Dalmatia (Ghosts)

Dalibor Šimpraga’s publishing credits include his novel, Anastasia (2007), a collection of short stories, Kavice Andreja Puplina (2002), and an anthology of new Croatian prose of the 1990s, 22 u hladu (2002). He is a cultural editor for the widely circulated weekly magazine, Globus. He co-founded the literary magazine, Fantom slobode. His debut novel, Anastasia (2007), received the well-respected t-portal prize for best novel of the year.
Born in Zagreb in 1969, he still resides there and graduated from the University of Zagreb with a degree in Croatian and Southern Slavic Literature and Linguistics.


Roman Simić: Foxes

Roman Simić is a poet, an author and an editor. He has written a book of poetry and three collections of short stories. He is the Artistic Director for the "Festival of the European Short Story", an annual festival held in Croatia since 2002. He is also an editor for the Croatian literary magazine, Relations, which is published in foreign languages. His book, U što se zaljubljujemo (What Are We Falling in Love With) received the prestigious Jutarnji list prize (2005) for the best book of prose. His award winning short stories have been translated into many languages.
Roman Simić was born in Zadar and holds a degree in Comparative Literature and Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Zagreb. He resides in Zagreb and works as an editor.


Gordana Benić: Four poems

Poet, journalist and a winner of the most prestigious poetry award 'Goranov vijenac', Gordana Benić was born in Split in 1950. She studied Croatian literature and philosophy in Zadar, completing her postgraduate studies in literature in Zagreb. For years she worked in Slobodna Dalmacija, the local paper, concentrating on historical monuments. In 2000 she received the Vicko Andrić conservation award for her articles on national historical monuments. Her poetry can be regarded as part of a significant movement in Croatian literature, that of the prose poem, which continues to resist fashionable trends and the commercial demands of a national literary marketplace made up as it goes along. Benić is indisputably one of the most important figures in that movement.


Ivan Sršen: Harmattan

Ivan Sršen’s novel Harmattan deftly tracks the plight of Uhunoma, a young Nigerian woman caught in the logic-defying limbo of the German penal system for doing nothing more than trying to live a better life. But as Uhunoma learns as she comes to terms with the circumstances that have delivered her and other women to this facility, the abyss of European Union bureaucracy has little interest in the individuals whom are subjected to its whims, the same as the unforgiving Saharan
winter wind, which the novel is named after, cares not about what it relentlessly covers and smothers with dust year after year. While Uhunoma’s only crime was entering Europe without the proper papers, her incarceration brings her into close contact with myriad criminals from all over Africa and Eastern Europe—drug dealers, murderers, and women forced to make tough decisions just to survive. Harmattan tells a story that is becoming all too universal as borders the world over become more porous and less defined, both literally and figuratively. The implications of this on the human spirit transcend all boundaries.
AUTHOR BIO: Born in 1979. In 2007 he started the Zagreb-based
independent publisher Sandorf and he is also an editor, translator, writer, and literary agent. Prior to Harmattan, published in 2014 by Durieux, Sršen had published a book of short stories (2010) and a popular study on the history of Zagreb’s libraries (2010; co-authored by Daniel Glavan).
He has translated from English Croatian editions of Get in the Van by Henry Rollins and The Real Frank Zappa Book by Frank Zappa. Along with two other translators, he translated selected works of Robert Graves to Croatian, and edited Zagreb Noir for Akashic Books, while still writing novels and short stories.


Peristil - Red, Green, Black and Yellow: Split Street Culture

The first art intervention on Peristil took place on January 11 of 1968. That morning the citizens woke up to a shock of seeing one of the main squares painted red. It did not take long to found out who were the perpetrators. A group of students (Pavao Dulčić, Tomo Čaleta, Vladimir Dodig – Trokut, Slaven Sumić, Nenad Đapić, Radovan Kogej, Srđan Blažević i Denis Dokić) spilled red paint on the square as a presentation of their dissatisfaction with the political and artistic scene of the time. The action is still mystified and serves as an inspiration for many other actions.
/by Mario Vuksa/


Rumena Bužarovska: I don't want to eat

Rumena Bužarovska (Skopje, Macedonia, 1981) is one of 10 New Voices from Europe 2016, selected by Literary Europe Live, and one of the most popular translated authors in Croatia. Bužarovska is the author of three short story collections – Čkrtki (Scribbles, Ili-ili, 2007), Osmica (Wisdom Tooth, Blesok, 2010) and Mojot maž (My Husband, Blesok, 2014; Ili-ili, 2015). She is a literary translator from English into Macedonian and her translations include Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking Glass), J.M. Coetzee (The Life and Times of Michael K), Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) and Richard Gwyn (The Colour of a Dog Running Away). She is Assistant Professor of American Literature at the State University of Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia.


Enver Krivac: Wormrumours and Thumbelinas


Enver Krivac (1976.) is a multidisciplinary artist from Rijeka.
Versatile in his expression, inspired by pop-culture and extra-literary sources, Krivac produces short stories, comics and music described by the critics as poetic, imaginative and playfull. His short stories collection „Nothing to write about home“ (2013) won the national literary award Prozak, and was proclaimed by the critics as „an encyclopedia of ideas, but also of many possible approaches to changing those ideas to literature“. He is known for his experimenting with language, aesthetics and humor. His writing style has „a simplicity that both enchants and frightens“. He is also a member of a musical collective Japanese Prime Ministers in which he acts as a co-author and a producer.


Želimir Periš: Greetings from Dalmatia


A story translated by Tomislav Kuzmanović

Želimir Periš was born in 1975 in Zadar, Croatia. He is a member of ZaPis, an association of Zadar based writers, where he organizes literary events and runs creative writing workshops called Otpis. Also, he is one of the organizers of Kalibar Festival of Literature in Zadar. His stories, plays and poems have been published in several literary magazines and included in prose anthologies. He has received multiple awards for his short stories and poetry. His stories have been translated into Italian, Ukrainian and English. His book of short stories, Mučenice, was translated and published in Slovenia, and adapted into a theatre play. In 2015, his novel Mima i kvadratura duga was nominated for the literary prize of „T-portal“- best novel of the year. Books of prose:
Mučenice (Martyrs), Zagreb, 2013., Mima i kvadratura duga (Mima and squaring the debt), Zagreb, 2014., Mima i vaše kćeri (Mima and your daughters), Zagreb, 2015.


Dubravka Ugrešić: The Spirit of the Kakanian Province

"While I was leafing through a few Croatian Kakanian novels (which I'd last cracked in high school), I felt I was working not with literary texts but genes. It was like discovering something we have always known but failed to attend to, like discovering a birthmark exactly where it was on our parents, children, grandchildren. At the same time, the literary critic in me grumbled while reading the ongoing episodes of these provincial literary soap operas, which have been going on for a century."


Jonathan Bousfield: Rijeka Rock City

It was the port city of Rijeka that led the way when it came to Croatia’s relationship with the electric guitar, and it is Rijeka that preserves most in terms of rock and roll heritage today. Label boss Goran Lisica Fox famously described Rijeka as a ‘musical Galapagos’, a self-contained city that always stood apart from the main landmass of popular culture. Indeed the city’s position in Croatia can be compared to that of Manchester in the UK: a place whose mixture of provincial isolation and self-reliance paradoxically puts it at the centre of national creativity.


World Literature Today on Dubravka Ugrešić - the laureate of the 2016 Neudstadt Prize

Dubravka Ugrešić’s work takes center stage in the most recent issue of World Literature Today. She is the winner of the 2016 Neustadt Prize.


Map world literature - Croatia

As could be expected given the upheaval in this part of the world throughout much of the 20th and 21st century, social issues and questions of identity figure strongly with many Croatian writers. Older and more conservative/right-wing writers are sometimes preoccupied with national identity, whereas younger authors tend to have a more diversified approach, looking at subcultural themes, gender/sexuality, social problems, economic migration, etc. There is a lot of sensitive, experimental and generally eye-opening literature to be discovered.


10 Books by Women We Would Like to See Translated: Balkan Edition

Only a small fraction of fiction published in English is translated, and only about a quarter of that translated fiction was originally written by women. This is an unfortunate state of affairs. In the second installment of our series from around the world, highlighting works by women we’d love to see reaching an English audience, we offer a literary tour of the western Balkans—specifically, the rich literary territory encompassing Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro.


Darija Žilić: The Slow Soul

Darija Žilić is a poet, literary critic, translator, moderator, and one of the editors of literary journal Tema, born in Zagreb in 1972. She graduated in comparative literature and history from the University of Zagreb. Her published works includes Breasts and Strawberries (poetry, 2005), To Write in Milk (Essays on Contemporary Poetry, 2008), Muse outside Ghetto: Essays on Contemporary Literature (Julije Benešić award for the best book by critics in Croatia in 2012), Nomads and hybrids: Essays on Contemporary Literature and Film (2010), Parallel Gardens: Interviews with Theorists, Writers and Activists (2010), Tropics: Critics about Contemporary Poetry (2011), Dance, Modesty, Dance (Kiklop award for the best poetry book in 2010 in Croatia), Omara (prose, 2012) and Tropics 2: critics about poetry, prose and society (2014.)


Who wants a selfie with a Croatian writer?

Andrea Pisac, a fiction writer and cultural anthropologist, takes her friend Linda for a walk through the magical Tuškanac forest and that's where this literary tour begins: not only did they learn about the greatest Croatian writers, but they also gave thanks to the amazing sculptors who immortalized them.

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Croatia's Once Mighty Shoe Firm Finds its Feet

Vogue’s recognition of its Startas sneakers is only the latest sign that the humbled economic giant in Vukovar is on the way back up.


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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Film festivals in Croatia

The Croatian Audiovisual Centre currently co-finances 59 film festivals and other audiovisual events. These serve various functions: they are particularly important for promoting Croatian audiovisual creation and serve as a platform for screening artistic content and non-commercial film forms, which makes them relevant on a local, regional, national and, in some cases, international level.


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

A little know fact is that Croatia, together with Spain, have the most cultural and historical heritage under the protection of UNESCO, and Croatia has the highest number of UNESCO intangible goods of any European country.


Dancing under socialism: rare electronic music from Yugoslavia

In the last couple of years, various collections of electronic music from former Yugoslavia popped up, ranging from numerous downloadable CDR mixtapes to official compilation albums. Yet there are several more waiting in line to be pressed and, as you will see, these are most definitely worth waiting for.


First Croatian newspaper for asylum-seekers, refugees launched

The monthly publication was launched with the aim of establishing closer mutual trust and offering information to people who were forced to leave their homes in search of protection and security, it was said at the launch.
Most of the newspapers' authors are asylum-seekers.


Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb

The National Theater in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, is one of those things which always finds its way to every visitor’s busy schedule.


Zagreb Festivals and Cultural Events

Numerous festivals, shows and exhibitions are held annually in Zagreb. Search our what's on guide to arts & entertainment.


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.

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