Synopses & Reviews
From the story of Steffie Cvek to "The Kharms Case," the pieces in Dubravka Ugresic's collection are always smart and endlessly entertaining. The former story paints a picture of a harassed and vulnerable typist whose life is shaped entirely by clichés. She searches endlessly for an elusive romantic love in a narrative punctuated by threadbare advice from women's magazines and constructed like a sewing pattern. The latter story is one of Ugresic's funniest and is about the strained relationship between a persistent translator and an unresponsive publisher. The stories collected in --the novella "Steffie Cvek in the Jaws of Life" and a collection of short stories entitled "Life Is a Fairy Tale"--solidify Ugresic's reputation as one of Eastern Europe's most playful and inventive writers.
"A madcap wit and a lively sense of the absurd . . . Filled with ingenious invention and surreal incident." Marina Warner
As long as as some, like Ugresic, who can write well, do, there will be hope for literature.Ugresic must be numbered among what Jacques Maritain called the dreamers of the true; she draws us into the dream.Ugresic's wit is bound by no preconceived purposes, and once the story takes off, a wild freedom of association and adventurous discernment is set in motion. Open to the absurdity of all pretensions of rationality, Ugresic dissects the social world, especially the endless nuances of gender and sexuality.
"Splendidly ambitious . . . A brilliant, enthralling spread of story-telling and high-velocity reflections. In her indignation and in her sorrow Ugresic speaks for many people, many experiences. She is a writer to follow. A writer to be cherished."--Susan Sontag
About the Author
Dubravka Ugresic is the author of several works of fiction, including The Museum of Unconditional Surrender and Fording the Stream of Consciousness, and three collections of essays, Have a Nice Day, The Culture of Lies, and most recently Thank You for Not Reading. She has received several international prizes for her writing, including the Swiss Charles Veillon European Essay Prize, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, and most recently the Premio Feronio-Citta di Fiano. Born and raised in the former Yugoslavia, she left her homeland in 1993 for political reasons and currently lives in Amsterdam.Damion Searls writes in English and has translated many of Europe's greatest writers: Rilke, Proust, Ingeborg Bachmann, Peter Handke, Nescio, Jon Fosse, Robert Walser, Kurt Schwitters, and others. He has received a Fulbright Fellowship, an NEA, and a PEN Translation Fund award; his most recent books are an abridged edition of Thoreau's Journal and a new selection and translation of Rilke's poetry and prose, called The Inner Sky: Poems, Notes, Dreams. His travelogue Everything You Say Is True appeared in 2004.Celia Hawkesworth was Senior Lecturer in Serbian and Croatian at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College, London until her retirement. She has published numerous articles and several books on Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian literature, including a study Ivo Andric: Bridge between East and West, and Voices in the Shadows: Women and Verbal Art in Serbia and Bosnia. She has also published numerous translations, including several works by Ivo Andric and Dubravka Ugresic.Working with great Czech, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, French, Italian, German,