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2018 Lit Link Literature Festival Begins, Welcoming American Authors This Year

The annual Lit Link festival brings together notable foreign authors and Croatian authors for a three-day event packed with bilingual literary readings across several Croatian cities. This year’s American guests include the author Nell Zink, the author and musician Elijah Wald, and two authors who Granta Magazine named among the Best Young American Novelists in 2017, Jesse Ball and Catherine Lacey, as well as a number of American editors and publishers. The festival opens Thursday (28.6) in Pula, moves to Rijeka on Friday (29.6) and concludes with a big closing event in Močvara Club in Zagreb on Saturday (30.6).

Festival Program
Pula: 28.6, Thursday, 20:30; “Dnevni boravak” in DC Rojc
Rijeka: 29.6, Friday, 19:00; Book caffe Dnevni boravak
Zagreb, 30.6, Saturday, 18:00; Močvara Club



 

Locations and Times of the Literary Readings:

Pula: 28.6, Thursday, 20:30-23:30; “Dnevni boravak” in the Social Center Rojc, at the address of Gajeva 3

Rijeka: 29.6, Friday, 19:00-22:40; Book Caffe Dnevni boravak, at the address of Ciottina ulica 12a

Zagreb: 30.6, Saturday, 18:00-22:00; Močvara Club, at the address of Trnjanski nasip bb

 

A More Detailed Schedule of Events:

Pula:

28.6, Thursday / 20:30 – 23:30

“Dnevni boravak” in the Social Center Rojc, at the address of Gajeva 3

The following authors will read their work alongside a translation (Croatian/English) which will be projected on a screen behind them:

Elijah Wald, Slađana Bukovac, Nell Zink, Igor Duda, Jesse Ball, Amir Alagić, Nikola Petković, Nora Verde, Catherine Lacey.

The following editors will also take part:

Peter Blackstock (editor at Grove Atlantic), Ashley Nelson Levy (editor and co-founder of Transit Books), Olivia Snaije (editor at Bookwitty/Publishing Perspectives), Buzz Poole (freelance editor and writer),  Janika Rüter (special guest; editor at Suhrkamp in Germany).

 

Rijeka:

29.6, Friday / 19:00 – 22:40

Book caffe Dnevni boravak at the address of Ciottina ulica 12a

The following authors will read their work alongside a translation (Croatian/English) which will be projected on a screen behind them:

Nell Zink, Zoran Roško, Rumena Bužarovksa (special guest from Macedonia), Catherine Lacey, Viktorija Božina, Jesse Ball, Tea Tulić, Andrea Jurjević (USA/Croatia), Elijah Wald.

The following editors will also take part:

Peter Blackstock (Grove Atlantic), Ashley Nelson Levy (Transit Books), Olivia Snaije (Bookwitty/Publishing Perspectives), Buzz Poole, Janika Rüter (Suhrkamp).

 

Zagreb:

30.6, Saturday / 18:00 – 22:00

Močvara Club at the address of Trnjanski nasip bb

The following authors will read their work alongside a translation (Croatian/English) which will be projected on a screen behind them:

Marina Gudelj, Željka Horvat Čeč, Elijah Wald, Jesse Ball, Ivana Rogar, Damir Karakaš, Nell Zink, Marinko Koščec, Catherine Lacey.

The following editors will also take part:

Peter Blackstock (editor at Grove Atlantic), Ashley Nelson Levy (editor and co-founder of Transit Books), Olivia Snaije (editor at Bookwitty/Publishing Perspectives), Buzz Poole (freelance editor and writer),  Janika Rüter (special guest; editor at Suhrkamp in Germany).

 

More About the American and International Guest Authors, Editors and Publishers:

Catherine Lacey is the author of the novels The Answers, Nobody Is Ever Missing, and the forthcoming story collection, Certain American States. She is the winner of a Whiting Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and was a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award. Her novels have been translated into Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch and German, and her work has been published in The New York Times, Harper's, Vogue and elsewhere. In 2017 she was named one of Granta Magazine's Best American Novelists. She was born in Mississippi in 1985.

 

Born in southern California, Nell Zink grew up in rural Virginia, receiving a B.A. degree in philosophy from the College of William and Mary in 1981. She has worked as a construction laborer, secretary, technical writer, translator, and novelist. Her environmentalist debut The Wallcreeper was listed by the New York Times as a notable book of 2014, as was her 2015 book on themes of race and gender, the National Book Award nominee Mislaid. Her 2016 novel Nicotine was published in parallel with Private Novelist,  a collection of two novellas written as gifts for a friend. She moved to Germany in 2000 and currently lives near Berlin.

 

Jesse Ball is the author of eighteen books including the novels Census, A Cure For Suicide, How To Set a Fire and Why, Silence Once Begun and The Curfew. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital grant, an NEA grant, and The Paris Review's Plimpton Prize. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. In 2017 he was named one of Granta Magazine's Best American Novelists. His first volume of poetry, March Book, was published by Grove Press when he was 24. He was born in New York in 1978.

 

Ashley Nelson Levy is the co-publisher of Transit Books, an independent publisher of international and American literature based in Oakland, California. Her authors include Wioletta Greg, who was longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize; Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, winner of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize; and Andrés Barba, winner of the 2017 Herralde Prize. She received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Clein/Lemann fellow. Her writing has been noted in Best American Nonrequired Reading and appeared in Zyzzyva, Catapult, the Atlas Review, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the Bambi Holmes Award for Emerging Writers.

 

Buzz Poole is a freelance editor and writer. He has edited numerous novels translated into English; his essays and reviews have appeared in publications such as The Believer, Print, Lit Hub, Playboy, and Pitchfork. Poole is the author of Workingman’s Dead, published as part of the 33 1/3 series. Since the inception of Lit Link he has served as the festival’s International Coordinator. 

 

 

Olivia Snaije is a journalist and editor based in Paris. Most recently she ran the English-language site, Bookwitty.com. She is a contributing editor to Publishing Perspectives, and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers including The Guardian, The New York Times, and Harper’s Bazaar Art, and was a staff member at both Vanity Fair and CBC/Radio Canada in New York. A former commissioning editor at Saqi Books she also worked as executive editor of Alef, a London-based cultural magazine about the Middle East. She translated Lamia Ziadé’s Bye Bye Babylon (Random House) in 2011, she has written several books on Paris published by Dorling Kindersley and Flammarion. Editions Textuel (France) and Saqi Books (London) published Keep Your Eye on the Wall: Palestinian Landscapes, which she co-edited, in 2013.

 

Peter Blackstock is a senior editor at Grove Atlantic in New York, working on fiction and nonfiction, with a focus on international writing and books in translation. Originally from England, where he worked as a literary scout, he moved to America and started at Grove Atlantic in 2011. His authors include Viet Thanh Nguyen, the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Charmaine Craig, Jesse Eisenberg, Will Self, Tom Stoppard, Andrus Kivirähk, Julia Franck, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, Sayaka Murata, and Yan Lianke. He studied German and Russian at Oxford University and lives in New York City.

 

Elijah Wald has been playing music since the 1970s, writing about music since the early 1980s, lecturing on music since the 2000s, and got a PhD in musicology and sociolinguistics in 2015. His books include How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music; Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues; Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas; Talking ’Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps, and the Deep Roots of Rap; and Dylan Goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties. He won a Grammy in 2002, and is a frequent speaker on blues, folk, pop, and Mexican music. Further information: www.elijahwald.com 

 

 

Janika Rüter is an exception in the Festival’s program, being a special guest from the German Suhrkamp Verlag, where she works as an editor in the department of Eastern European literatures, focusing on literature from the Balkans. Previously, she worked in the foreign rights department of the same publishing house for several years. She studied Law and Slavic Literature in Konstanz and St. Petersburg, and now lives in Berlin.

 

More About the Croatian Authors Participating in the Festival:

Marina Gudelj was born in Split in 1988. She graduated in Croatian Studies from the University of Zadar. She lives in Split. In 2017, she received the Sedmica i Kritična masa Award for young prose fiction authors for her story Lee, and in 2018 she won the third place in the Festival of the European Short Story writing competition. She recently finished her first novel – Unfinished. Her appearance at the Lit link Festival as part of the Festival’s collaboration with the program Književnost u Močvari, a literary program focusing on young authors. The story Lee (which she is going to read) focuses almost metaphorically on two characters from the street whose counterpoint subtly traces the changing social codes.

 

Andrea Jurjević is a poet and translator from Rijeka, Croatia. Her work has appeared in EPOCH, TriQuarterly, Best New Poets, The Missouri ReviewThe Florida ReviewGulf Coast, The Southern Humanities Review, and many other literary journals. Her first collection, Small Crimes, won the 2015 Philip Levine Prize, and her translation of Mamasafari (Diálogos Press / Lavender Ink, 2018), a collection of prose poems by Olja Savičević Ivančević, is set for publishing by Lavender Ink/Diálogos. She is the winner of the Robinson Jeffers Tor Prize, the Tennessee Williams Fellowship, awarded by the Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and the Hambidge Fellowship. She works as a proofreader for English language and literature at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.  

 

Željka Horvat Čeč (1986) has been praised and awarded as a poet of minimalist expression. Her collection of poems We have to become concrete (2015) entered the finals of the Kamov literature award and was part of Booksa’s selection of the five most important books in 2015. Her poems have been translated to English, French, Swedish and German language. Her fragmented novel titled 4 Locks (2016), which she will read from, is a novel about growing up in the social turbulence of the war period of the 1990s, in a village in northern Croatia. In the novel documents, intimate letters, death threats, journal articles and other documentary materials are used to depict the praxis of indoctrination, endangering and the state of being endangered.

 

Ivana Rogar was born in 1978, in Zagreb, Croatia where she studied comparative literature and English language. She has translated works from the English, while her translations have appeared in American literary publications. She is an editor in the publishing house Durieux and in several literary magazines. In 2014, she published her first book of short stories, Dark Mirror, which was recognized by the Croatian Ministry of Culture as one of the best fiction books published that year. Her next collection, Tumačenje snova, came out in 2016 and was awarded the prestigious Kamov Award. Her short stories appeared in numerous Balkan journals, as well as in Words Without Borders and the Guernica Magazine. Her stories were also published in French and Bulgarian.

 

Damir Karakaš was born 1967 in Lika, the mountainous region of Croatia. Karakaš has written five novels, three collections of shorts stories, a travelogue and two plays. His books have been translated into German, Czech, Macedonian, Slovenian (translation into Italian forthcoming), and his work has appeared in the literary magazines such as McSweeney’s Quarterly (US) and Neue Rundschau (Germany). He studied agriculture and law in Zagreb, and then for five years lived in Paris where he studied French at The New Sorbonne University and made a living by playing the accordion on the streets. Kino Lika (Lika Movie Theatre), his short story collection, was turned into an award-winning film. On multiple occasions, he represented Croatia at the Leipzig Book Fair. His last novel, Sjećanje šume (Remembering Forest, 2016) is an unusual coming of age story and it received excellent reviews from critics and the audience alike. The novel won the Fric and Petar Kočić awards and was shortlisted for the T-portal Award. Karakaš lives in Zagreb.

 

Marinko Koščec (1967) teaches French literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. Translated from French and English and was an editor for fiction at the publishing house SysPrint. Directed workshops in prose writing in Zagreb and Split. Novels: Otok pod morem (An Island under the Sea), 1999; Netko drugi (Someone Else), 2001 (awarded the “Meša Selimović” prize for best novel published in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro); Wonderland, (awarded the VBZ prize for best novel manuscript); To malo pijeska na dlanu (A Handful of Sand) 2005, English translation 2013; Centimetar od sreće (An Inch Away from Happiness), 2008, Duch translation 2015; Četvrti čovjek (The Fourth Man), 2011; U potrazi za početkom kruga (Searching for the Beginning of the Circle), 2016.

 

Amir Alagić was born in 1977 in Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). He left his birthplace during the 1990s war and now lives in Pula. He has published a collection of interlinked stories Pod istim nebom (Under the Same Sky, 2010) and novels Osvetinje (Revengers, 2016) and Stogodišnje djetinjstvo (A Hundred Year Childhood, 2017). He is also the scriptwriter and director of the short film Poigravanja ili Pokvareni bojler (Fooling Around or The Broken Boiler, 2012). Family ties, exile and the experience of emigration and the related histories of cities are common themes in his prose.

 

Slađana Bukovac was born in 1971 in Glina. She graduated in art history and comparative literature in Zagreb. She lives in Pula where she works as a TV journalist. Her books have been translated into German and Hungarian. She has published the following works: the novel Putnici (Travelers, 2003; the Slavić Award and Kiklop Award for best newcomer); a collection of poems, Nijedan pauk nije savršen (No Spider is Perfect, 2005); novel Rod avetnjaka (Genus Tarsius, 2008; the Fran Galović Award), and Stajska bolest (Foot to Mouth Disease, 2016), a novel from which she is going to read and which deals with themes of freedom and individual resistance in a society steeped in violence. The novel was shortlisted for the two main Croatian literary awards awarded for novels (T-portal and Fric).

 

Igor Duda is Associate Professor at the Department of History, Faculty of Humanities, and at the Centre for Cultural and Historical Research of Socialism, Juraj Dobrila University of Pula. His research fields are social history and the history of everyday life of the second half of the 20th century, Croatia in Socialist Yugoslavia, history of leisure and tourism, history of consumer culture and history of childhood. He is the author of three volumes (in Croatian): In Pursuit of Well-Being. On History of Leisure and Consumer Society in Croatia in the 1950s and 1960s (2005), Well-Being Found. Everyday Life and Consumer Culture in Croatia in the 1970s and 1980s (2010) and Today when I Become a Pioneer. Childhood and the Ideology of Yugoslav Socialism (2015). He is the co-author and editor of several collections of articles and essays.

 

Nikola Petković (1962, Rijeka) earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of Texas at Austin (1996). He presently works at the University of Rijeka where he serves as The Chair of European Studies at The Cultural Studies Department. Over the years he has been weekly columnist of daily paper Novi list in Rijeka where he followed recent literary production. He was the president of The Croatian Writers Society (2011-2017). Petković is the author of seventeen books across the genres. How to Tie Your Shoes (Dalkey Archive Press, 2017) is a confessional narrative that deals with the relationship between a father and son—more precisely it narrates its absence into existence. The novel begins when the narrator learns that his father is terminally ill and decides to return home to arrange his therapy. 

 

Nora Verde was born in Dubrovnik in 1974. Since 1998. she had been working as a journalist and editor in the daily and weekly press and in the nonprofit media. She is a member of the editorial board and one of the initiators of the Croatian feminist portal Vox Feminae. She is the author of the novels Posudi mi smajl (Lend Me Your Smile, 2010) and Do isteka zaliha (Until the Supplies Run Out, 2013), and a collection of stories O ljubavi, batinama i revoluciji (On Love, Punching and the Revolution, 2016). Her prose often delves into the position of female characters outside the norms, recording cultural, sexual and class tensions. Her prose included in the volume Zagreb Noir has been translated into English (Akashic Books, New York, 2016).

 

Tea Tulić was born in Rijeka in 1978. Her work has been published in various Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian and Slovenian literature magazines, including McSweeney’s from San Francisco. In 2011, she won Prozak, an award for the best young author’s manuscript, which resulted in the publication of her first book, a fragmentary novel Kosa posvuda (Hair Everywhere). The Croatian Ministry of Culture awarded it as one of the best prose books in 2011. Hair Everywhere has been published in UK, Italy, Macedonia and Serbia, while the English translation was longlisted for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Literature Prize in 2018. In 2014, she published a spoken word album Albumče on Bandcamp, in cooperation with the musical collective Japanski Premijeri. In 2017, she published the novel Maksimum jata (Maximum of the Flock).

 

Viktorija Božina is one of the young authors regularly invited to Lit link Festival. She was born in 1990 in Zadar where she is currently enrolled in the Croatian studies graduate program. She spent three years in the United States where she graduated in IT studies. She has published short stories, while her debut novel, titled Turbofolk, came out this year. This partly autobiographical novel records her American experiences, but, in part, it also takes place in a half-urban, half-rural environment of the Dalmatian outback (Benkovac and the environs) and the turbofolk subculture, very widespread in the author’s generation though there is little mention of it in literature.

 

Zoran Roško (1960, Šibenik) is an author prone to experimentation. He has published a collection of theoretical texts Paranoidnije od ljubavi, zabavnije od zla (More Paranoid than Love, More Fun than Evil, 2002) and two novels, Ljepota jede ljude (Beauty Eats People, 2011) and Minus Sapiens (2017), the latter of which won the Kamov Award and was shortlisted for the T-portal Award. He edited a collection of translations of innovative American writers, Moje noćne more prelijepe su za ovaj svijet (My Nightmares Are too Beautiful for this World, 2010). He was an editor in chief of the magazine for culture Zarez and he edited radio programs on alternative culture and music. He publishes two blogs in English, zoran rosko vacuum player (with reviews of works of world literature) and roškofrenija (on weird and marginal films, music, web projects, etc.). He lives in Zagreb where he works as a librarian.

 

Rumena Bužarovska (1981, Skopje, Macedonia) is the author of three short story collections, a booklet of flash fiction and a study on humor in contemporary American and Macedonian short fiction. She is a literary translator from English into Macedonian, having translated authors such as J.M Coetzee, Lewis Carroll, Truman Capote, Charles Bukowski and Richard Gwyn. In 2016 she was selected as one of the Ten New Voices of Europe by Literary Europe Live and she is the 2017 winner of the regional Edo Budiša prize awarded by the Istria County in Croatia. She is the 2018 fellow of the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa. Currently she is the prose editor of the literary magazine Blesok and teaches American literature at the State University in Skopje.  

 

 

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