Ognjen Spahić

 Ognjen Spahić

Novel: Hansen’s Children

OGNJEN SPAHIĆ was born in 1977 in Podgorica, Montenegro. He is the best-known member of the young generation of Montenegrin writers to have emerged since the collapse of former Yugoslavia. Spahić has published two collections of short stories: Sve to (All That, 2001) and Zimska potraga (Winter Search, 2007). His novel Hansenova djeca (Hansen’s Children, 2004) won him the 2005 Meša Selimović Prize for the best new novel from Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It also won the 2011 Ovid Festival Prize, an award for literature translated into Romanian. To date, Hansenova djeca has been published in Slovenian, Romanian, Hungarian and Macedonian. Spahić’s short stories have been translated into Czech, Greek, Turkish, Romanian, Bulgarian, English, Albanian and German. His short story “Raymond is No Longer with Us—Carver is Dead” was included in the 2011 anthology of “Best European Fiction” published by Dalkey Archive Press, USA. Spahić lives in Podgorica.

”While Mr Nikolaidis is a highly political figure, Mr Spahic is not. His novel, Hansen’s Children, which has won prestigious literary prizes in Romania and Bosnia and has been translated into several languages is set more than two decades ago in the (real) last leper colony in Europe in Romania. Amusing and engaging, Mr Spahic also came of age just as Yugoslavia fell apart. He was called up by the Yugoslav Army, refused to serve and thus could not get a passport. So he claims that in the 1990s “I didn’t do anything, except read whole libraries.” After that his literary career began to take off. ‘‘ Tim JudahThe Economist


Photo: Anahit Hayrapetyan