Balkan Bombshells


Will Firth (editor)

Istros Books



ISBN: 9781912545841


Publication date: 20 February 2023



A collection to whet the appetite of anyone wishing to learn more about a region rich in history, folklore and (her)stories. Telling it like a woman does not mean literature for women only: it provides an insight into half of humanity, a window onto the lives of citizens who work, love and develop their inner lives. This collection brings together the voices of a wide selection of prize-winning and established authors:

Balkan Bombshells brings together established Serbian and Montenegrin writers like Svetlana Slapšak, Jelena Lengold (winner of the EU Prize for Literature 2013), Dana Todorović and Olja Kneżević (author of Catherine the Great and the Small, Istros 2020), together with a select group of up-coming writers: Marijana Čanak (1982, Serbia): “Awakened” (Probuđena) follows the early years of a girl from a very simple background, who discovers she has extrasensory powers. A gruesome fascination with biology allows her to attend high school, where she ends up sewing a voodoo doll to take revenge on a molesting teacher. Marijana Dolić (1990, Bosnia-Herzegovina & Serbia): “Notes from the attic” (Zapisi iz potkrovlja), originally diary entries, are intense mediatations on faith, love and hope – poignant testimony to a struggle to cope in difficult times. Ana Miloš (1992, Serbia): “Peace” (Mir) portrays a woman struggling with disparate feelings after her only child dies. She has long since broken up with the child’s father. She enjoys finally having time for herself, but she has to confront accusations of people around her that she is heartless. Once a mother, always a mother? Katarina Mitrović (1991, Serbia):“Small death” (Mala smrt). We are introduced to a fearful young woman who is far from happy with life, and we follow her on a summer holiday by the Adriatic, where a halfhearted romantic adventure takes a scary turn. Andrea Popov Miletić (1985, Serbia):|: excerpt from the novel Young pioneers, we are seaweed (Pioniri maleni, mi smo morska trava; 2019). This stand-alone excerpt is a poetic flashback to her childhood in the province of Vojvodina in the Yugoslav era, to holidays by the Mediterranean, and to feelings of belonging and home. Lena Ruth Stefanović (1970, Sebria/ Montenegro): “Zhenya” is a fragment from her 2016 novel Daughter of the Childless Man (Šćer onoga bez đece), is an entertaining meta-story about an ordinary woman in the late Soviet Union, whom the author decides to grant a new lease of life, so Zhenya studies languages, becomes a mondain writer and moves with her new husband to Montenegro, where the author loses track of her.