Daša Drndić

Daša Drndić

Daša Drndić (1946-2018) wrote Trieste—”a masterpiece” (Financial Times)— shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and Belladonna—”one of the strangest and strongest books” (TLS)— shortlisted for the EBRD Literature Prize. She also wrote plays, criticism, radio plays, and documentaries.


Fiction by Daša Drndić

Translated by S.D. Curtis Celia Hawkesworth

With a contribution by Celia Hawkesworth

Two elderly people, Artur and Isabella, meet and have a passionate sexual encounter on New Year’s Eve. Details of the lives of Artur, a retired Yugoslav army captain, and Isabella, a Holocaust survivor, are listed through police dossiers. As they fight loneliness and aging, they take comfort in small things: for Artur, a collection of 274 hats; for Isabella, a family of garden gnomes who live in her apartment. Later, we meet the ill-fated Pupi, who dreamed of becoming a sculptor but instead became a chemist and then a spy.…
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Fiction by Daša Drndić

Translated by Celia Hawkesworth

In this breathtaking final work, Daša Drndić’s fearless voice reaches new heights. Andreas Ban’s suicide attempt has failed. Though very ill, he still finds the will to tap on the glass of history to summon those imprisoned within. Mercilessly, he dissects society and his environment, shunning all favors as he goes after the evils and hidden secrets of our times. History remembers the names of the perpetrators, not the victims—Ban remembers and honors the lost.…
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Fiction by Daša Drndić

Translated by Celia Hawkesworth

Belladonna: also known as deadly nightshade, devil’s berries, death cherries, beautiful death, devil’s herb, which sounds terrifying and threatening. Belladonna also carried a tamer name, dog’s cherry, and an almost magical one, fairy plant. Andreas Ban, a psychologist who no longer psychologizes, a a writer who no longer writes, lives alone in a coastal town in Croatia. His body is failing him. He sifts through the remnants of his life—his research, books, medical records, photographs—remembering old lovers and friends, the tragedies of WWII, the breakup of Yugoslavia.…
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Perhaps the most ambitious novel of the twenty-first century so far.

—Merve Emre, New York Review of Books

Drndić’s formidable intelligence and Homeric intention cannot help but thrill and exalt.

—Dustin Illingworth, The Paris Review Daily

Her incisive skill and radical style render potentially grim reading compulsive. She was a voice of-and for-our times.

Times Literary Supplement

Drndić cultivates a visionary art of memory. She rescues the names, and the lives, of the lost. Her writing glows with an incendiary bleakness worthy of Beckett.

—Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk

Daša Drndić was incapable of writing a sentence that was not forceful, fierce or funny–or all three simultaneously.

The Guardian

Drndić has in her own way composed an astonishment that extracts light from darkness.

The Jewish Daily Forward

Drndić is writing to witness and to make the pain stick. Even at their most lurid, her sentences remain coldly dignified.

New York Times Book Review
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