Drndić’s formidable intelligence and Homeric intention cannot help but thrill and exalt.
—Dustin Illingworth, The Paris Review

An early novel from the masterful Drndić, Battle Songs is an intimate, ferocious account of her years spent as a refugee in Canada during the Yugoslav Wars

Available February 7, 2023

Battle Songs

Fiction by Daša Drndić

Translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth

In the 1990s, the unnamed narrator of Battle Songs leaves Yugoslavia with her daughter Sara for Toronto to start a new life. They, along with other refugees, encounter a new country but not a new home. Book editors sell hot dogs, mathematicians struggle to get by on social security, violinists hawk cheap goods on the street. Years after arriving in Canada, when she thinks no one can hear her, Sara still sings in the shower: What can we do to make things better, what can we do to make things better, la-la-la-la.

In true Drndić style, the novel has no one time or place. It is interspersed with stories from the Yugoslav Wars, from Rijeka to Zagreb to Sarajevo—with, as always, the long shadow of the Second World War looming overhead. Her singular layering of details—from lung damage to silk scarves to the family budget to old romances—offers an almost unbearable closeness to the characters and their moment in history. “Wry and kindly, funny, angry, informed and intent on the truth, no voice is quite as blisteringly beautiful as that of Drndić” (Financial Times).

Buy from:

Paperback w flaps (published February 7, 2023)

ISBN
9780811234788
Price US
17.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
192

Ebook

ISBN
9780811234795
Drndić’s formidable intelligence and Homeric intention cannot help but thrill and exalt.
—Dustin Illingworth, The Paris Review
Drndić interweaves fiction, reality, history, and memory to terrific effect, producing unforgettable meditations on love and loss, the insanity of war and the legacy of human cruelty.
—Lucy Popescu, The White Review
Her writing glows with an incendiary bleakness worthy of Beckett.
—Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk