HUGE RECOGNITION: Works by three Slovenian authors – Kumerdej, Šarotar and Mazzini – among BEST books of Eastern Europe, Central Asia

HUGE RECOGNITION: Works by three Slovenian authors – Kumerdej, Šarotar and Mazzini – among BEST books of Eastern Europe, Central Asia

An award-winning, London-based digital magazine The Calvert Journal included novels ‘The Harvest of Chronos’, by Slovenian writer Mojca Kumerdej, ‘Panorama‘ by Dušan Šarotar, and ‘King Of The Rattling Spirits’ by Miha Mazzini, among its picks for the “100 of the best books from Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia available in English.”

With their works being included on the list, Kumerdej, Šarotar and Mazzini found themselves in the company of writers, including Nobel laureates such as Ivo Andric, Svetlana Alexievich, Czeslaw Mislosz. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and many others.

The Best of the ‘New East’ Culture

Known for exploring the contemporary culture and creativity of the New East: Eastern Europe, Balkans, Russia, and Central Asia, at The Calvert Journal they asked writers, poets, translators and academics to help them pick 100 of the best books from Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia available in English.

The literary society made a remarkable list of works from the ‘New East’ we were all waiting for – including also some classic works of literature by Tolstoy, Kundera, Gogol, Kish, Dostoevsky, Bulgakov etc.

Huge recognition to Slovenian writers

Mojca Kumerdej is known in Slovenia as a winner of the 2017 Prešeren Award,  the highest decoration in the field of artistic creation in Slovenia. She was longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2019.

Her epic and quite unique historical novel The Harvest of Chronos looks at Central Europe in the 16th century – a territory plagued by ceaseless battles for supremacy between the Protestant political elite and the ruling Catholic Habsburg Monarchy, as well as the ongoing battle between the sexes.

You can order your copy of Dušan Šarotar’s ‘Panorama’ in English from Istros Books web-page.

At London-based Istros Book Publishing, where her novel was translated and published, they wrote: “In Kumerdej’s wonderful saga, history and fiction intertwine in wavelike fashion, producing a colourful portrait of the Renaissance; permeated by humanist attempts to resurrect antiquity through art, new scientific findings, and spirited philosophical and theological debates.

Istros Books also translated and published a Slovenian writer, poet, screenwriter and photographer Dušan Šarotar’s novel ‘Panorama’.

Šarotar has twice been shortlisted for Slovenia’s prestigious Kresnik Award – for the novels Billiards at the Hotel Dobray (2007) and Panorama (2015). 

Panorama, in English translation, was also shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize (2017) and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award (2018) and, in Spanish translation, won the César López Cuadras Readers’ Prize (Sinaloa, Mexico, 2017). 

You can order your copy of Dušan Šarotar’s ‘Panorama’ in English from Istros Books web-page.

About Šarotar’s ‘Panorama’ from Dublin Literary Award 2018 Longlist: “Deftly blending fiction, history and journalism, Dušan Šarotar takes the reader on a deeply reflective yet kaleidoscopic journey from northern to southern Europe. The narrator’s extraordinary depictions of landscape reveal the inner experience of the writer in a foreign setting, far from a home that seems ever more elusive. In the manner of W. G. Sebald, the story is supported and complemented by photographs taken by Šarotar himself.”

A young boy’s story from the 1970’s

A well known and one of the best-selling Slovenian authors, columnist, screenwriter, and film director Miha Mazzini made it to the list with his novel King of the Rattling Spirits.

Set in Yugoslavia, in 1973, the novel follows a 12-year-old Egon living in a small industrial Slovenian town with his single mother and grandmother — who are in conflict with one another. Egon is dreaming of having a record player, but in order to get one, he will have to defeat a neurotic mother, a madly religious grandmother, a sadistic teacher – and all the souls and angels he is forced to grow up with …

Based on the award-winning Slovenian feature film Sweet Dreams (2001), the book, published that same year, has been translated into six languages.

👉 See The Calvert Journal’s FULL LIST!

👉 👉 Good literature can transcend national interests – order your next book from Istros Books!

By Mari Podhrasky (@mari_podhrasky) / Twitter

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