Compiled and Translated by Will Firth
A collection to whet the appetite of anyone wishing to learn more about a region rich in history, folklore and (her)stories. Telling it like a woman does not mean literature for women only: it provides an insight into half of humanity, a window onto the lives of citizens who work, love and develop their inner lives. Balkan Bombshells brings together established Serbian and Montenegrin writers like the social activist Svetlana Slapšak, Jelena Lengold (Faiground Magician, winner of the EU Prize for Literature), Dana Todorović (The Tragic Fate of Moritz Toth, Istros/Peter Owen, 2016) and Olja Knežević (Catherine the Great and the Small, Istros, 2020), along with a select group of up-coming writers who together explore the vulnerability and courage needed to face our everyday lives.
'So often anthologies, with all the best intentions, run the risk of collapsing under their own weight. This collection, even with seventeen contributors, only runs to 143 pages, offering just enough to give a reader an entertaining and intriguing introduction to a wide range of Serbian and Montenegrin women writers who will, with luck, reach a broader audience in translation over the years to come.'
ROUGHGHOSTS, Joe Schrieber review: An explosion of strong female voices
‘This wonderful range of female voices gave me such pleasure. Adventurous, individually distinctive and often incredibly funny, the stories in this anthology have a common vitality and intelligence. They’ve got power, they’ve got precision and they’ve got impact: prepare for these Balkan Bombshells – and an utter treat of a book!’
WENDY ERSKINE, author of Sweet Home (Book of the Year in the Guardian, The White Review, Observer, New Statesman, and TLS).
"What struck me most about this collection of different writings was the unexpectedness, the singularity of each one, there was no sense of conformity to an idea of what a short story should be. . . they clearly feel they do not have to conform to any style or formula."
The story “Smell” by Milica Rašić is published with the kind permission of Biber, a short story contest for socially engaged short stories in Albanian, BCMS and Macedonian. The Biber team is part of the Centre for Nonviolent Action - Sarajevo/Belgrade.
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