Books by Dubravka Ugresic

FOX by Dubravka Ugresic
Released: April 17, 2018

"Brilliant and laugh-out-loud funny."
Another tricky treasure from an internationally renowned author. Read full book review >
BABA YAGA LAID AN EGG by Dubravka Ugresic
Released: Feb. 2, 2010

"A playful, inventive and humane look at women and aging."
Expatriate Croatian novelist and essayist Ugresic (Nobody's Home, 2008, etc.) spins contemporary fiction from a popular figure in Slavic folklore. Read full book review >
NOBODY’S HOME by Dubravka Ugresic
Released: Sept. 26, 2008

"Taut, timely pieces by a writer who sees the cosmic in the quotidian."
Croatian novelist/essayist Ugresic (The Ministry of Pain, 2006, etc.), now a resident of Amsterdam, offers discerning, sometimes grumpy commentary on a rapidly changing Europe—and a rapidly changing world. Read full book review >
THE MINISTRY OF PAIN by Dubravka Ugresic
Released: March 10, 2006

"Ironically, with all the high tragedy in the wings, it's when Ugresic's sharp gaze turns to the minute and the arcane (a female character speaks with 'high-pitched sh's and sch's') that her novel achieves inimitable, devastating clarity."
A Croatian intellectual's flight to the Netherlands from the ruins of Yugoslavia yields striking vignettes of emotional shellshock, linguistic displacement and limbo-like stasis. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 10, 2003

"Sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet, always intelligent and graceful."
A Croatian novelist and essayist (Have a Nice Day: From the Balkan War to the American Dream, 1995) now living in voluntary exile o'erglances the current literary landscape and does not care for the view. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1995

A rather jaundiced look at American culture by a highly regarded Croatian novelist living in exile. In a torrent of metaphors, Ugrei (Fording the Stream of Consciousness, not reviewed) compares her embattled native country, the war-torn former Yugoslavia, to what she found on a busman's holiday in the United States. Invited to teach at Wesleyan University, she divided her time between New York City and sleepy Middletown, Conn. Much of the book centers on the contrast between placid America, with its instantly disposable pop culture, and the brutalized Balkans, where civil war is taking its toll on ancient civilizations. The book is designed as a series of brief essays, etymological examinations of how America perceives concepts like ``harassment'' or invents new ones like ``couch potato.'' Ugrei repeatedly likens herself to Alice, slipping through the looking glass into a fantastical American landscape of fast food, TV talk shows, and the obsessive need to organize one's time. The resulting book is, as the title suggests, relentlessly mordant and often bitter. In a sotto voce response to a photographer who doesn't know where Zagreb is, she writes: ``In Croatia. In a country which does not yet exist. And where is that? In Yugoslavia. In a country which no longer exists.'' Many of her observations are original and witty (``Americans shop as if they were taking an important exam''), and it's hard to argue with her characterization of the US as ``a deeply infantile culture,'' but Ugrei often assumes a tone that is both insulting and uncharitable to her seemingly benign hosts. She now lives in Berlin. Given the nature of the ``real world'' she left behind in Zagreb, it's perhaps understandable and even forgivable that Ugrei is angry much of the time, but it doesn't always make for easy reading. A noteworthy book, but a disagreeable one. Read full book review >