Fangirl Friday: Five authors you should read!

Come Through the jump and check out five authors Wench Shau recommends we all check out right away!




  Ivana Brlić Mažuranić 
Croatian Tales from Long Ago
Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić started writing poetry, diaries and essays rather early but her works were not published until the beginning of the 20th century. Her stories and articles like the series of educational articles under the name "School and Holidays" started to be published more regularly in the journals after the year 1903.
Her book Croatian Tales of Long Ago (Priče iz davnine), published in 1916, is among the most popular today in large part because of its adaptation into a computerized interactive fiction product by Helena Bulaja in 2003/2006. In the book Mažuranić created a series of new fairy-tales, but using names and motifs from the Slavic mythology of Croats. It was this that earned her comparisons to Hans Christian Andersen and Tolkien who also wrote completely new stories but based in some elements of real mythology.
Brlić-Mažuranić was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times – in 1931 and 1935 she was nominated by the historian Gabriel Manojlović. In 1937 she also became the first woman accepted as a Corresponding Member into the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts. After a long battle with depression, she committed suicide on 21 September 1938 in Zagreb. [source: wiki]

Ivo Andrić
The Bridge on the Drina 
(Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961)
IvoAndrić was a Yugoslav novelist, poet and short story writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1961. His writings dealt mainly with life in his native Bosnia under Ottoman rule.
In the small Bosnian town of Visegrad the stone bridge of the novel's title, built in the sixteenth century on the instruction of a grand vezir, bears witness to three centuries of conflict. Visegrad has long been a bone of contention between the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, but the bridge survives unscathed until 1914, when the collision of forces in the Balkans triggers the outbreak of World War I.
The bridge spans generations, nationalities and creeds, silent testament to the lives played out on it. Radisav, a workman, tries to hinder its construction and is impaled alive on its highest point; beautiful Fata leaps from its parapet to escape an arranged marriage; Milan, inveterate gambler, risks all in one last game on it. With humour and compassion, Andrić chronicles the lives of Catholics, Muslims and Orthodox Christians unable to reconcile their disparate loyalties.

That Damned Yard
The novel is written in 1954. Ćamil, a wealthy young man of Smyrna living in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, is fascinated by the story of Džem, ill-fated brother of the Sultan Bajazet, who ruled Turkey in the fifteenth century... [source: goodreads]

Bosnian Chronicle
Set in the town of Travnik, Bosnian Chronicle presents the struggle for supremacy in a region that stubbornly refuses to submit to any outsider. The era is Napoleanic and the novel, both in its historical scope and psychological subtley, Tolstoyan. In its portray of conflict and fierce ethnic loyalties, the story is also eerily relevant. Ottoman viziers, French consuls, and Austrian plenipotentiaries are consumed by an endless game of diplomacy and double-dealing: expansive and courtly face-to-face, brooding and scheming behind closed doors. As they have for centuries, the Bosnians themselves observe and endure the machinations of greater powers that vie, futilely, to absorb them. Ivo Andric's masterwork is imbued with the richness and complexity of a region that has brought so much tragedy to our century and known so little peace. [source: goodreads]

Meša Selimović
Death and the Derviš
Mehmed "Meša" Selimović was a Yugoslav and a Bosnian writer from Bosnia and Herzegovina and
one of the greatest Bosnian writers of the 20th century. His most famous works deal with Bosnia and Herzegovina and the culture of the Bosniak inhabitants of the Ottoman province of Bosnia. [source: goodreads]
Death and the Dervish is an acclaimed novel by Bosnian writer Mesa Selimovic. It recounts the story of Sheikh Nuruddin, a dervish residing in an Islamic monastery in Sarajevo in the eighteenth century during the Ottoman Turk hegemony over the Balkans. When his brother is arrested, he must descend into the Kafkaesque world of the Turkish authorities in his search to discover what happened to him. He narrates his story in the form of an elaborate suicide note, regularly misquoting the Koran. In time, he begins to question his relations with society as a whole and, eventually, his life choices in general. Hugely successful when published in the 1960s, Death and the Dervish is an enduring classic from twentieth-century Yugoslavia. [source: goodreads]

Miroslav Krleža
On the Edge of Reason
During his long and distinguished career, the Croatian writer Miroslav Krleza (1893-1981) battled against many forms of tyranny. In On the Edge of Reason, his protagonist is a middle-aged lawyer whose life and career have been eminently respectable and respected. One evening, at a party attended by the local elite, he inadvertently blurts out an honest thought. From this moment, all hell breaks loose.... On the Edge of Reason reveals the fundamental chasm between conformity and individuality. As folly piles on folly, hypocrisy on hypocrisy, reason itself begins to give way, and the edge between reality and unreality disappears. [source: goodreads]

August Šenoa
The Goldsmith's Treasure
August Šenoa was a transitional figure, who helped bring Croatian literature from Romanticism to Realism and introduced the historical novel to Croatia.
The town lies before you. In the words of Šenoa himself: “below the mountain, a jewel most precious to us glimmers in the sun, strong like a mighty hero… the town of Zagreb.”
Stop and listen to the murmur of the Kajkavian dialect, bite into a Paprenjak, chat with the women at Dolac Market, get to know the people of Zagreb… You may even bump into a contemporary Dora or a fearless Pavao of your own.
The first Croatian historical novel, the tale of a forbidden love between the daughter of a goldsmith and a nobleman's son set against the backdrop of the streets and squares of 16th century Zagreb. Love and passion, plots and intrigue, nobles, commoners, tricksters, murderers... A patchwork of colorful characters is bound to leave you breathless! [source: goodreads]


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