Igor Štiks's novel W has just been published in English as part of the Facing Insecurities in Contemporary Europe project. The mission of the project is to publish exceptional works of contemporary literature by European authors from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, with the aim of gaining new audiences, strengthening relations with existing readers, increasing European cultural and literary diversity and developing and strengthening literary ties between Croatia and seven other countries participating in the project.
The novel W was not only translated by one of the best translators of South Slavic literature Ellen Elias-Bursać, but also edited by Drenka Willen, the Croatia-born legendary editor of the famous New York publishing house Harcourt Brace Jovanovich who, during her career, discovered some of the greatest authors of our time such as Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino, Günter Grass and Danilo Kiš.
Igor Štiks’s fourth novel, mysteriously titled with only one letter, W, is a feat of storytelling in which historic tragedies are woven through with humor and erotic passion. It is both a murder mystery — in which nothing is as it seems and where we don’t learn the truth until the very last page — and a reflection on a century of revolutionary struggles. In it, Štiks asks some of the crucial questions of our era: What are the lessons of past heroic struggles for a world of equality and freedom that were then followed by tremendous disappointments and tragic failures? And what can we do today in the face of contemporary planetary horrors? The novel vividly brings to life the turbulent years of the 1960s through the early 2000s with all their contradictions, disasters and hopes.
When describing his book for Publishing Perspectives Igor Štiks said that the seed for the novel was planted in 2001, just after the Genoa G8 summit and the police murder of the young anarchist Carlo Giuliani, and just a few days after September 11. “I asked myself how on Earth the war happened in the former Yugoslavia, what on Earth is happening in this world, and what can we do now to change it? This is how a long research [project] in utopian and revolutionary movements, actors, events, and personal destinies throughout the 20th century started.”
Aleksandar Hemon, one of the most original contemporary American novelists, considers Igor Štiks as “one of the most promising European writers”, whereas Semezdin Mehmedinović, the author of Sarajevo Blues and My Heart thinks that Štiks „is a great prose stylist and philosopher-activist who irresistibly resembles the young John Berger and who asks the question — how to change the world?”
This limited edition of W will be, in addition to Croatia, distributed to selected British and Irish bookstores. Publishing rights for W have already been sold in Bulgaria (Iztok-Zapad Publishing), Serbia (Kontrast), Albania and Kosovo (Bard Book), Slovenia (Mladinska knjiga), Macedonia (Antolog), and Ukraine (Books XXI). Fraktura is working intensively on placing the novel in Great Britain and the US, and elsewhere in Europe and the world.
More on the author:
Igor Štiks is the author of A Castle in Romagna and The Judgment of Richard Richter (originally published as Elijah’s Chair), which have been translated into 15 languages. He has won many prizes for his fiction and plays and was named a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. He is also the author of Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav States: One Hundred Years of Citizenship (Bloomsbury, 2015). His essays and commentaries have appeared in The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Open Democracy and ROAR Magazine.
Knjiga W objavljena je u sklopu projekta Facing Insecurities in Contemporary Europe sufinanciranog sredstvima programa Europske unije Kreativna Europa.