The Festival of World Literature (Festival svjetske knizevnosti) is the initiative of one of Croatia’s most innovative and respected publishing houses – FRAKTURA in cooperation with Zagreb Youth Theatre.
Over the years, FRAKTURA has not only published the very best in international literature (publishing the likes of Vasilij Grossman and Amos Oz) as well as the most important national authors, like Daša Drndić (recently short-listed for the UK’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize). And while we are on the subject of the IFFP, its wonderful to see that this year’s winner – Gerbrand Bakker, will be one of the guests at the festival, along with the great Italian writer, Claudio Magris.
The aim of the festival is to bring together the best of local and international literature, through a series of live events with authors and literary critics, as well as opportunities for the audience to interact with contemporary writers.
And who are the local authors to look out for? Well, there is the mighty Zoran Ferić, whose books and short stories have been delighting audiences around Europe for over twenty years now. His one book in English so far is ‘The Death of the Little Match Girl’ Autumn Hill Books (November 15, 2007). The big literary news of 2012 was that a contemporary writer had finally come up with a work that might deservedly be called ‘The Great Croatian Novel’ – The Mayan Calendar is a decade-spanning tale that follows its main characters from their schooldays in the Sixties and builds up to a convincing portrait of Croatian society in the early 21st century. You can read more about this writer, and get an excellent overview of the present Croatian literary scene, at TimeOut Croatia‘s excellent site. And I wouldn’t be a very good publisher if I didn’t say my bit about two other excellent writers on the scene: Marinko Koščec – ‘Croatia’s foremost literary stylist’ – whose book A Handful of Sand was published by Istros earlier this year, and Olja Savičević – a poet whose debut novel, Farewell, Cowboy was so popular that it was made into a theatre play only a year after being published. Istros will be publishing the English translation of the novel in 2015.