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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 (winner of the EU Prize for Literature 2013), Dana Todorović (The Tragic Fate of Moritz Toth, Istros/ Peter Owen, 2016) and Olja Kneżević (Catherine the Great and the Small, Istros 2020), together with a select group of up-coming writers, including Marijana Čanak with 'Awakened', which follows the early years of a girl from a very simple background, who discovers she has extrasensory powers; Marijana Dolić with 'Notes from the attic', intense meditations on faith, love and hope – a poignant testimony to a struggle to cope in difficult times. Ana Miloš' story is a moving portrayal of a woman struggling with disparate feelings after her only child dies: Once a mother, always a mother? Katarina Mitrović's 'Small death' introduces us to a fearful young woman on her summer holiday by the Adriatic, where a half-hearted romantic adventure takes a scary turn. Andrea Popov Miletić offers us an excerpt from her novel Young pioneers, We are Seaweed (Pioniri maleni, mi smo morska trava; 2019) in a poetic flashback to her childhood in the province of Vojvodina in the Yugoslav era, to holidays by the Mediterranean, and feelings of belonging and home; Lena Ruth Stefanović's 'Zhenya' is also a fragment from her 2016 novel Daughter of the Childless Man, and is an entertaining meta-story about an ordinary woman in the late Soviet Union, whom the author decides to grant a new lease of life.
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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