The Body That Has To Be Lived In follows the internal struggles of Brigitte, a sixty-year-old judge at the very end of her career who is suddenly assigned the only challenging and complex trial she has ever undertaken in her working life — a criminal case concerning the rape and murder of a young woman. Before this final case, Brigitte has only ever judged minor cases of divorce and petty theft – a kind of cheap theatre. But now she becomes abruptly aware of the marginal role she has played in the world – and of the opportunity this murder trial offers. The case opens the key for Brigitte’s path of self-realization as she finally assumes the power given to her as a judge – the power of arbitration. The novel follows Brigitte’s internal test of character in parallel with the development of the trial of the young man accused of killing his girlfriend. This internal journey is initiated by her confronting the lawbreaker — confronting the body of the accused, over which society and the law, embodied in herself, will execute its punishment.
In the 19 stories from this prize-winning collection (the “Edo Budiša” prize for the best short story collection written in a language which doesn’t require translation into Croatian, 2016.) we follow the protagonists emotional journey from unreliable memories of her untimely departed mother, to her childhood with an alcoholic father who is never around, to grandparents who slowly fall apart and die before her eyes, to the dissolving country in a changing world, to her discovery of her sexuality, and the anxieties of making a living.
The motif of the mother seems to haunt all the stations of the journey like an omnipresent spiritus movens and it unobtrusively leads us through the protagonists emotional life, acquainting us with Sarajevo from before, during and after the war, the “cool crowd”, interethnic marriages, Šid as a place of exile, hospitalisation at the psychiatric ward – with Eros and Thanatos.
Lejla Kalamujićs collection is an authentic testimony of the fate of a family. The writing of this testimony is an act of courage of sorts, an act of facing up to that which is darkest and heaviest in humans.
Nora Nadjarian is an award-winning Cypriot poet and writer. She has won prizes and commendations in international competitions, including the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, the Féile Filíochta International Poetry Competition and the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize. She has been widely anthologised and translated into several languages. Her work concentrates on the themes of women, refugees, identity, exile, love and loss, as well as the political situation in Cyprus. Her poems deal with everyday episodes which go beyond reality in their atmospheric concentration, pointing to symbolic interior worlds.
Best known in Cyprus for her book of short stories Ledra Street (2006), she has had poetry and short fiction published internationally. Her work was included in A River of Stories, an anthology of tales and poems from across the Commonwealth, Best European Fiction 2011 (Dalkey Archive Press), Being Human (Bloodaxe Books, 2011) and Capitals (Bloomsbury, 2017). Her latest books are the collections of short stories Selfie (Roman Books, 2017) and Girl, Wolf, Bones (bilingual English-German edition) (2017). The author Anjali Joseph has said of her work: ‘Nora Nadjarian’s distilled short stories are abrupt and intense, as invigorating and aromatic as a double shot of literary espresso.’
Jasna Dimitrijević (1979 Negotin) graduated from the Department of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory in Belgrade. She writes short stories, poetry and reviews. She is a regular contributor to the magazine Liceulice. She is the co-organizer of the first regional competition for the best short story on the topic of reconciliation on the BHSC, Albanian and Macedonian language – Biber – and the co-editor of the multilingual collection. Her first collection of stories, Prepoznavanja, came out in 2015 and was published by the City Library Karlo Bijelicki, Sombor, after she won the contest for the first book, and the Redbox publishing house will publish the next edition of this book next year. Currently, she is finishing her second collection of short stories, which will be published by the end of 2018 by Partizanske knjige. She lives in Belgrade and works in a bookstore.
Lana Bastašić (Zagreb, 1986) is a Bosnian writer. She studied English Language and Literature and holds an MA degree in Cultural Studies. She has published two collections of short stories, one book of children’s stories, and one of poetry. “Catch the Rabbit”, her first novel, was published in 2018 in Belgrade, Kontrast, and was shortlisted for the NIN award. Her short stories have been included in major regional anthologies throughout former Yugoslavia. She has won the Best Short Story Award at the ‘Zija Dizdarević’ competition in Fojnica, Bosnia; the Jury Award at the ‘Carver: Where I’m Calling From’ festival in Podgorica, Montenegro; the Best Short Story Award at the ‘Ulaznica’ festival in Zrenjanin, Serbia; Best Play by a Bosnian Playwright Award at the competition organized by Kamerni teatar 55 in Sarajevo, first award for best unpublished poetry collection in Zrenjanin, and Targa UNESCO Prize for poetry at the Castello di Duino festival in Trieste, Italy. She collaborates with various literary magazines in the Balkans, most notably Polja, Povelja, Sarajevo notebooks and Putevi. In 2016 she co-founded Escola Bloom with Borja Bagunyà and she co-edits the school’s literary magazine Carn de cap. She lives and works in Barcelona.
Daim Miftari was born in 1979 in Gostivar, Macedonia. He holds a master’s degree in Albanian language and literature at Skopje University. Currently, he lives in the multilingual city of Skopje, where he has worked as journalist, translator, and teacher. A number of published books in both Albanian and Macedonian, as well as poetries translated and published in anthologies, newspapers and literary magazines in Macedonia and abroad, have earned him acclamation by the literary critics. In April 2017 Daim Miftari was granted literary residence POETEKA in Tirana, Albania.
Azem Deliu was born in January 1996 in Skënderaj, Kosovo. In high school he graduated one year earlier than his peers. During his studies of Albanian Literature (University of Prishtina), he was honored with the high university award ʺDistinguished Student“ for his first poetry volume “The Funeral of Rain” (Onufri, Tirana, 2013). His great success was the novel ʺThe Illegal Kisser“ (Onufri, Tirana, 2016) which, besides being a national bestseller, has already been translated into English. Interest for the author is also growing in other countries. French press has called him ʺthe great author of the small country“ and ʺthe new star of European literatureʺ. ʺThe Illegal Kisser“, his first novel, is also his international debut at the age of 21.
Ana Schnabl (1985) is a writer, journalist and literary critic. A doctoral student of Philosophy since 2016, Schnabl focuses her research on the female autobiography and confession and the woman in psychoanalysis. She writes for literary journal Literatura and online portal AirBeletrina, has collaborated with daily Dnevnik and is the editor-in-chief of the European Review of Poetry, Books and Culture. In 2014, her short story MDMA was the winner of AirBeletrina’s short fiction competition. Disentangling (Razvezani, 2017), a short story collection, is her first book. Schnabl is currently working on a play and a novel, with the latter delving into the topics of infidelity, illegitimate children and the golden 1980s in Slovenia.